General manager Garth Snow made it clear: John Tavares isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. At the same time, Snow said the Islanders are unlikely to add players if it means giving high draft picks as the NHL’s Feb. 26 trade deadline approaches. The Tavares situation has morphed into something of a saga. Any expectation that the potential free agent was merely waiting for clarity on where the Islanders would play in the futur — Belmont is the planned destination — has not resulted in a commitment from Tavares to remain beyond this season. Is Tavares waiting to see if the team makes the playoffs? Is there an understanding that he will stay? Is there some unknown issue? No one is saying. “I’m not trading John, I’ve stated that,’’ Snow said Wednesday. “I know I sound like a broken record but any conversations I have with John or his agent (Pat Brisson) remain private.’’ Asked if was a gamble not to engage in trade talks because Tavares can merely walk away this summer, Snow said, “I think any team — I mean we’ve been through it as well — every team has free agents. Every team has players they want to sign. We drafted John at 18 years old and think the world of him. We want him to retire an Islander. This is all part of a process that he earned under this collective bargaining agreement, to take his time and be thoughtful about what he wants to do for the rest of his hockey career.’’ Snow would not say if there have been any negotiations but it is believed that money will not be an obstacle. Tavares and his agent have remained steadfast in saying that making the playoffs is Tavares’ lone objective.
Garth Snow says Islanders won’t trade John Tavares or deal high picks for rental players
Newsday | Feb 8