Fans of the New York Islanders may be starting to grow a little concerned.
On Wednesday New York Islanders captain John Tavares was asked about the ongoing contract negotiations between his representatives and Islanders management and it sounds like Tavares doesn't intend to sign anytime soon.
“For me, there’s really no rush,” Tavares told Newsday in a phone interview Wednesday morning. “I’m trying to determine things, let the process run its course, keep the lines of communication open, keep it all internal and it’s been good so far … In terms of signing a new contract, there’s a lot that goes into it. To really dive into all the details, get into all the conversations I’ve had with Garth [Snow], the team and Doug [Weight], I don’t think it’s productive to the situation and the negotiating. I prefer to keep it all internal, that’s the best way to keep it all open, honest and healthy.”
There have been major concerns about Tavares' desire to remain an Islander after struggles to find a stable home for the team as well as questionable moves by general manager Garth Snow, moves that included trading away players like Ryan Strome and Travis Hamonic, and in Hamonic's case getting only draft picks back in return.
“It’s a lot of mixed feelings,” Tavares said of the trades. “I think everyone knows my relationship with Ryan, from when we drafted him, knowing him even before then, living together for two years, training together quite a bit in the offseason — he’s like a little brother. He was great for me too, he’s a fun person to be around, always kept things loose, which was always good for me. I know there’s been some ups and downs, but he’s still young and still growing with his game."
His feelings on Hamonic as a human being as well as a player would also seem to suggest that Tavares may be less than thrilled with the decisions from the Islanders, although it has to be said that is merely speculation on our part.
“Travis is a tremendous person first and foremost. He’s got tremendous values, deep connections to his roots that mean a lot to him and what he’s been through in his life. First and foremost, I’ve got a lot of respect for him there just as a human being. And he’s a very good player, had some great seasons with us and guys like that are hard to find. To play those all-around minutes and the way he played, you don’t find guys like that too often.”
Snow made it clear that he would not allow Tavares to walk off into the sunset while receiving nothing in exchange, and while only Snow and Tavares' agents really know whether or not they are close to deal, one has to imagine that the clock is ticking on Garth Snow to make a decision one way or another.