John Tavares is considering “everything” before signing a contact extension with the Islanders, and that includes going into this season without a new deal in place. The captain explicitly said so when asked on the phone Wednesday by The Post during a late-summer check in. “Yea, I am,” Tavares said. “I think if I’m signing just to stop the conversation, I don’t think it’s really the right way of going about things. All I can do is control what I can control, be the best player I can be, work as hard as I can and try to be the best captain I can be.” Tavares will turn 27 on Sept. 20 and is signed for next season at a club-friendly $5.5 million salary-cap hit. He could have signed an extension as early as July 1, but that was also the opening of free agency and soon after the draft, when general manager Garth Snow had stockpiled a handful of high picks in the hopes of making a deal to improve his team immediately. The captain thought it was best to let Snow focus on the roster rather than his situation, with no urgency to him signing a new deal. “I think I wanted to just let Garth and management focus on that more than my situation, as there is still time to continue my process,” Tavares said. “You look down the road, but at the same time, you don’t want to be thinking about that or worrying about that on a daily basis.” What Tavares has made clear over the past year is that he has a genuine desire to stay with the Islanders, who likely will have to meet Connor McDavid’s eight-year, $100 million deal ($12 million annual salary-cap hit) to reach market value. But Tavares also wants to be diligent beyond the money when making this monumental decision, which falls in line with his personality.
John Tavares: What’s going into my patient Islanders decision
New York Post | Aug 18