The decision is in, New York Islanders captain is no longer with the Isles. Tavares has decided to join the Toronto Maple Leafs.
After a year of waiting around, John Tavares has exercised his option to free agency. He will no longer be a member of the New York Islanders. On July 1st, he will join the Toronto Maple Leafs.
It’s not hard to see why he decided to join the Leafs. They’re in a clear win-now mode. And adding John Tavares clearly puts them over the top in terms of favorites going into 2018-19.
Their forward lineup already includes Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and William Nylander and now it has one of the ten best centers on the planet.
So now what does that mean for the New York Islanders?
It’s hard to believe he’s gone. For the last nine years, he carried this franchise. From the day the Islanders drafted him first overall in 2009, Tavares became the face of the Islanders.
For nine years Tavares endured this franchise. He endured a rebuild that never happened. He endured coaches that were never at his level. And he endured a General Manager that had no idea what he was doing. Tavares ensured it all and performed.
Only recently have they turned that around by hiring Lou Lamoriello as the new President of Hockey Operations and then General Manager, and bringing in Barry Trotz as the teams Head Coach.
Two great hires, but a little too late to convince Tavares and erase the last nine years. Or, to put it in other words, everything he’s ever known about the New York Islanders.
The day John Tavares became a New York Islander after being selected first overall in the 2009 NHL draft the fanbase was ecstatic and jubilant. We finally had our talismanic player. Now that he’s gone we mourn the end of an era.
We think what could have been if John Tavares was only surrounded by competent minds both behind the bench and in the GM’s chair.
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With John Tavares era over with the Islanders, the Mathew Barzal era begins. And unlike Tavares before him, he’s sounded by quality with Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz.