New York Islanders Finish Won’t Determine Tavares’ Future
By Tim Ryder
How the New York Islanders finish out this season will largely affect the course this franchise takes over the next few years. But it will not affect John Tavares’ decision on whether to re-sign with the only NHL team he’s played for.
As the New York Islanders return from the All-Star break, they sit only a point out of the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference playoff standings. The Isles begin their push for the postseason with a matchup in Brooklyn tonight against the Florida Panthers.
The Islanders are primed to make a run at one of the top-three spots in the Metro Division. They expect some of their injured players to be returning over the next few weeks. The return of Casey Cizikas tonight, along with their vastly improved play over their last few games before the break, should give them a boost.
How the New York Islanders finish out the 2017-18 season, regardless if it ends with a postseason berth, will not affect John Tavares’ upcoming free-agency decision. Everyone is well aware of the
contract situation. New York Islanders fans are beginning to reach meltdown-type levels fretting over JT’s future with the franchise.
Every other team wants the New York Islanders to fail
We’ve all been hearing the noise coming out of places like Toronto and Montréal for years. These are franchises that will do anything to win, including hinting at offering John Tavares $15 million per year to come play for them. Well, now we’ve begun to hear rumors swirling about other teams’ interest in JT.
Although this is very unlikely (and probably not feasible anyway), seeing a team like the San Jose Sharks getting involved in the John Tavares sweepstakes (even as a rental with the hopes of re-signing him) is indicative of just how coveted a player like JT is.
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From the top of the heap of NHL franchises all the way down to the bottom-rung of small market teams, everyone is hoping that the New York Islanders’ season takes a turn for the worst. They’re banking on the hope that if the Isles fall apart, it will convince:
1) Isles brass to trade Tavares before the February 26th deadline and rebuild OR
2) convince JT to jump ship for greener pastures once the season ends
Contrary to popular belief, neither of those two scenarios will play out no matter how this season ends up for the New York Islanders.
John Tavares’ future with the New York Islanders
John Tavares has made it perfectly clear that he wants to remain with the New York Islanders and is comfortable with the direction the team is heading, on all fronts. Of course, no player (especially one with the skill-set of JT) can ignore the temptation of the open free-agent market. And he’s more-than-earned that right if he chooses to go that route.
Even with all of the uproar over the New York Islanders splitting their next three seasons between Brooklyn and Uniondale, John Tavares has remained committed to the Isles. He has never given any mixed signals or alternative goals other than his promise to deliver a Stanley Cup to this franchise.
Does that sound like a guy who plans on leaving the only team he’s ever known? I don’t think so. Even if the New York Islanders crash and burn over the last thirty games, John Tavares will still give the Islanders the inside track on signing him to a long-term deal.
With their minors system stockpiled with talented players, a plethora of NHL-level talent already here, and a new arena on it’s way to being built, the New York Islanders are set up pretty well for the future.
Next: Isles Need Clutterbuck to Re-Emerge
Why would John Tavares want to leave now, after bringing this franchise back from (literally) near-extinction? He wouldn’t.