What is going on between the New York Islanders and John Tavares?
So far all the franchise players in the NHL that were entering the final year of their contrat have quickly signed a contract extension with their respective team. Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel, Carey Price and Nikolaj Ehlers to name a few. The only one still waiting is Tavares and many believe he would have signed long ago too if he was truly happy with the direction the Islanders are going.
Not only his team is struggling yet again this year with a 3-3-1 record to start the season but there might be a bigger issue that is holding up negotiations.
According to The Hockey News and The New York Post, Tavares would be waiting to see what is going on with the team plans of building a new arena befor signing on the dotted line and if their proposed bill to the city counsil don't get approved, he might be as good as gone next summer.
Only problem for Garth Snow: The counsil decision might not come before the Trade Deadline and therefore he could be forced to take a guess on trading his superstar rather than losing him for nothing.
Every indication is that Tavares is waiting for certainty on the Islanders’ long-term future before the franchise centerpiece of nine years signs on for eight more. There is no reason to expect that the captain wouldn’t be willing to wait for the state’s decision until the free agent market opens on July 1, if necessary. He obviously wants to stay; the proper authorities would know otherwise by now.
But if the trade deadline approaches without a rapid, favorable decision from Empire State Development, the burden in the Taveras-Islanders dynamic will fall entirely on the team. Ownership and management will have to decide whether to, a) ride it out with No. 91 and risk having their franchise player walk out the door with nothing in return if Belmont hasn’t gone their way by July 1; or, b) move him for what presumably would be a plentiful bounty.