Of course when John Tavares went into the hockey-media echo chamber of Montreal, he was asked about his future as a possible free agent. And of course, Tavares answered in the same way he has over the past few months — albeit with stronger language. “I hope to stay in Long Island,” Tavares told reporters before scoring the overtime winner in a 5-4 victory over the Canadiens at Bell Centre on Monday night. “There’s a lot of positive things going forward with the organization and the team here. I haven’t thought about being anywhere else but with the Islanders.” The 27-year-old Tavares is playing out the final season of his six-year, $33 million contract, one of the most club-friendly deals in the league. He has held off signing an extension — or seriously starting to negotiate one — while weighing the myriad options in front of him and the organization. The biggest one of those was wrapped up when the team recently solidified the agreement with New York State to build a new arena on land at Belmont Park. With co-owners Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin leading the way, the franchise will finally exit its tumultuous marriage with Brooklyn’s Barclays Center and move back to Long Island, where the Islanders played their home games since their inaugural season of 1972-73 until they moved to their misguided urban locale in 2015-16.
John Tavares gives Islanders good news then bails them out
New York Post | Jan 16