Put yourself in the proverbial skates of John Tavares. What would you do? At the age of 26, you could sign a contract extension of eight year or fewer as early as this summer to stay with the New York Islanders. You could wait until any point next season to see if the team’s fortunes improve. You could also simply decide to explore unrestricted free agency as a 27-year-old and at least go through the interview process in late June of 2018 with all of the potentially interested teams. And there would be many interested teams. Once you’ve weighed all of the potential variables in any imaginable scenario, just remember one thing – you’re not John Tavares. All we’ve heard from the captain of the New York Islanders is that he wants to stay with the team. But given how the losses continue to pile up this season – including five in a row headed into Tuesday night’s game against the Boston Bruins – it’s reasonable to at least speculate about whether Tavares would consider other options as his franchise languishes near the bottom of the league’s standings. NHL Insider Bob McKenzie, an authoritative voice with decades of experience in the business, tends to lend a rational voice to these sorts of conjectural matters. “There isn’t anything to report right now, other than the fact the Islanders continue to spiral downward. And that’s not a good thing, obviously,” said McKenzie Monday morning on Montreal’s TSN 690. “But let’s be very clear on this: For what it’s worth – and it may or may not be worth a lot, but it’s a good start for the Islanders – John Tavares is saying and doing all of the right things publicly. John Tavares hasn’t raised one little eyebrow yet – publicly – about what’s gone on in Long Island. Any time he’s been asked about his situation he says, ‘Hey, I’m an Islander. I want to be an Islander. I don’t want to go anywhere.’ So he’s saying all of the right things.
Bob McKenzie on Tavares and Islanders’ continued downward spiral
Fanrag Sports | Dec 20