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New York Islanders Changing Narrative Surrounding Franchise

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - MARCH 30: New York Islanders fans cheer the fourth Islanders goal against the Buffalo Sabres at NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum on March 30, 2019 in Uniondale, New York. The Islanders defeated the Sabres 5-1 to qualify for the playoffs. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - MARCH 30: New York Islanders fans cheer the fourth Islanders goal against the Buffalo Sabres at NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum on March 30, 2019 in Uniondale, New York. The Islanders defeated the Sabres 5-1 to qualify for the playoffs. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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Jordan Eberle signed a five-year extension with the New York Islanders. Almost as importantly, he made sure to let everyone know that this is where he wanted to be.

Brick by brick the desirability of the New York Islanders as a franchise that players want to play for is being reset. For the longest time, the Islanders haven’t been a destination for players. They just didn’t want to come to Long Island. And why would they?

Over the last 25 years, the New York Islanders have made the postseason eight times, and have only won a playoff round twice. They’ve had arena issues. And the previous management group didn’t seem to know what they were doing.

You’d think with

John Tavares

‘s decision to leave would have been a significant set back in the Isles ability to get back on track. But a year after the Isles captain left in free agency, the franchise is in better shape than ever.

The Narrative is Starting to Break

On Friday the New York Islanders extended RW Jordan Eberle to a five-year deal. The deal was a great one for the team. They got to keep the little right-handed talent they had on the roster, but they also got him on a $500,000 discount.

But they also kept a player that wanted to stay with the Islanders.

Brick-after-brick of positive news has followed the Islanders for a while now. The Jordan Eberle contract is just the latest brick. He’s yet another possible free agent who arguably took less to stay with the Islanders for the long-term just like Josh Bailey and Brock Nelson.

But unlike Bailey and Nelson, Eberle wasn’t drafted by the Islanders, he’s seen other markets, albeit that other market was Edmonton. He knows what it’s like out there and he decided to stay.

The importance of Jordan Eberle deciding to stay with the Islanders should not be underestimated. For the longest time, this franchise hasn’t been desirable for players. Back in 2016, just three years ago, the New York Islanders ranked third in teams players don’t want to play for in a survey of player agents.

Hearing Eberle say he wants to stay starts to break that perception of the franchise. Continuously repeating it helps even more.

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Add the Islanders securing Belmont, the Lou Lamoriello hiring, Garth Snow and Doug Weight being removed from their duties, Barry Trotz coming in, a 103 point season, a first-round sweep of the Penguins and the negative narrative around the franchise just doesn’t hold up and it’s starting to break.

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