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New York Islanders Offseason Plan If John Tavares Leaves (Competitive)

By Matt O'Leary
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 26: John Tavares #91 of the New York Islanders reacts in the third period against the Florida Panthers during their game at Barclays Center on March 26, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 26: John Tavares #91 of the New York Islanders reacts in the third period against the Florida Panthers during their game at Barclays Center on March 26, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
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VANCOUVER, BC – OCTOBER 26: John Carlson #74 of the Washington Capitals during NHL action against the Vancouver Canucks on October, 26, 2017 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images) /

Sign John Carlson: Seven Years $56 million ($8 million AAV)

The Islanders desperately need help on the defensive end and John Carlson is just that, an upgrade on the blue line. He’s a number one defenseman, something the Islanders definitely need but normally wouldn’t be able to afford if Tavares is earning $11 million or more each of the next eight-years.

John Carlson would be the Islanders big free agent splash, as he’s the best defenseman on the table this offseason.

2017-2018 was a career year for Carlson. He had 68 points (15 goals, 53 assists). Since the lockout year, Carlson never had less than 37 points in a season and has averaged 23 minutes of ice time over the course of his career.

That’d be almost a minute more than Leddy has averaged during his four years with the Islanders.

He’s going to be costly and signing a 28-year old to a seven-year deal has some risk at the back end of that contract but it’s a position of need and the Islanders have the money if Tavares does decide to leave.

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