This is the biggest offseason the New York Islanders have faced in a very long time. They have to convince their star John Tavares to stay.
Outside of the arena, the biggest story for the New York Islanders over the past year has been John Tavares. Will he be staying with the Islanders and signing a max contract, or will he opt to leave in free agency?
That question likely won’t be known until July 1, 2018, which is quickly approaching, faster than most Islanders fans want it to be completely honest.
For the second year in a row, the New York Islanders missed out on the playoffs. In 2016-2017 it was just by a point thanks to a second-half surge. This past year, a post-November meltdown caused the Islanders to miss the playoffs by a whopping 17 points.
The problem with the Islanders is they’re not quite good enough to contend and they’re also not quite bad enough to get a top pick to alter their franchise immediately. They’re stuck in the exact place you don’t want to be; mediocrity.
Over the next couple of months I’ll be coming up with plans for the team under certain scenarios, this one is under the assumption that you can get Tavares to extend, and it opens a two-year window for the Islanders to contend for a cup.
Eventually, you have to go for it, and these steps are doing just that. Mortgaging the future, to an extent, for a legit shot at a championship. A couple months ago I came up with a 10-step plan to fix the franchise but this plan just focuses on the on-ice product.