New York Islanders Can’t Afford to Not Sign John Tavares
By Tim Ryder
With the upward trajectory of the New York Islanders as an organization, combined with the construction of a new arena, the franchise must, at all costs, bring JT back into the fold.
John Tavares will retire as a member of the New York Islanders, mark my words.
Write them down on the wall, as my dad and brother and I used to do for Opening Day prop bets for all sports. John Tavares will re-sign with the Isles, for whatever money he wants quite frankly, and all will be well in the world.
Well, at least in our little corner of the NHL. The Islanders have a budding superstar in Mathew Barzal if that description even does him justice.
Anders Lee, who will also need to be re-signed soon, but we’ll get to that, Josh Bailey, and Jordan Eberle (also expiring after next season) are part of a core that’s not like many others.
The young players here now, like Anthony Beauvillier, Ross Johnston, Ryan Pulock, Adam Pelech, and Scotty Mayfield are all good players and will all serve in their individual roles more-than-respectably.
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Letting JT walk would set the New York Islanders back five years
There is such a unique combination of veteran leaders, in-their-prime stars, and young role players on this team.
And with so many more to come, the Islanders will no doubt be a competitive team if JT does decide to walk.
But this group of players with Tavares has the chance to compete for a Cup, many actually.
And I understand the folly of those words after they were uttered at the totally wrong time and place earlier this week.
But if Malkin & Ledecky and the rest of the funky bunch decide to sit back and hope, they’ll be digging their own proverbial graves.
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The new ownership group will struggle to sell tickets in a brand new arena (a worst-nightmare scenario for any pro-sports owners who are moving into a new home) if they don’t have the superstar-credibility of John Tavares there too.
They could try and replace him with another big name, but we’ve all seen how that course of action has played out here, and forget about what the Rangers have gone through in that market.
The Isles have a proven, generational (yes, I said it) player who loves the franchise and who the fans absolutely adore, from the tikes up to the O.G.’s.
To let a guy like that walk would leave this franchise five years behind developmentally and would leave their fan base absolutely crushed.
Do the right thing, fellas. Pay that man his money.