John Tavares is the most highly sought out free agent in the salary cap era, and probably ever for that matter. Tavares has spent the last nine years of his career in New York, being drafted first overall by the Islanders in 2009, emerging in the league at 19, and making an immediate impact on the Islanders team and organization. Winning the Calder his rookie year and since becoming the Islanders beloved player for the last 8 years now. The Islanders could very well be watching their captain walk away this afternoon.Tavares is a 5-time All-Star and has been in the running for the Hart four times and just about any NHL award out there at one point Tavares has been in the talks of winning. Tavares has collected 621 points in 669 games making him a .92 point per game player. With 272 goals and 349 assists throughout his career. Tavares best year came in 2014-15 when he scored 86 points in 82 games, recently Tavares scored 84 points in 82 games with 37 goals and 47 assists. Tavares has collected now seven 65 plus point seasons in his 9 years, not to mention in 2012-13 the season that was cut short due to a lock out (47 points in 48 games). Tavares, has been the lord and savior for the Islanders and I think we get my point that he is one of the best players in the NHL and the best player to come into the Islanders organization for the last 20 years or so.
Well, with that said Tavares is set to the tell the Islanders if he will be signing back with the them later this afternoon! Check Twitter constantly and be on the look out. Tavares has since coming out about his free agency search has met with Dallas, Toronto, Boston, New York, San Jose, Montreal and Vegas. As the process went along he quickly ruled out Montreal and Vegas. And has since met with each team. After the last meeting in L.A. the Tavares camp and himself shipped out to Toronto back to his home.
The concern that is coming from Islander fans is that Tavares has been oddly quiet. After leaving and not even meeting with Lou Lamoirello was the first sign of concern I saw. Obviously the fact that Tavares even began this process is number one but still. It is fair to say that Tavares has earned the right to go about this process and see what other teams are interested in him. He clearly wants to win, the guy is the perfect example of a competitor and one of the best in the league that is. Therefore winning is number one on his list, but he has earned the right to go and cash out on a 9 plus million dollar per year deal.
Tavares has given his all to this Islanders organization and they have not necessarily given him much back, they have not done the best job to really build a winning franchise around him and for the last 9 years of his career, he was stuck with the management of Garth Snow, Jack Capuano, Doug Weight and the end of Scott Gordon’s career. While the addition of Barry Trotz and Lou Lamoirello is great it may have been too late to convince Tavares to stay. Since Tavares has been on the team the Islanders have made the playoffs 3 times, winning one series and finishing 5th or worse in the division 7 times of the 9 years Tavares has been here. It is fair to say that if Tavares does in fact decide to leave New York it is no one’s but Garth Snow and Islanders past management who did this and he has deserved the right to move on and peruse other options of his career.