This is possibly the biggest season of not only John Tavares career but for the franchise as well. Tavares is on a contract season and it will be his choice whether or not he wants to commit to them long term. The New York Islanders selected him number one overall in the 2009 NHL Draft. He has been the heart and soul for them for the past several years, but the Islanders have not given him enough help.
Tavares was the reason why they made it to the second-round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which ended their 23-year drought of winning a playoff series. He is the main reason why Islanders fans want to go to games. Tavares is the ultimate pitch that makes fans buy tickets. Even if you’re not an Islanders fan you want to see this guy play in person.
According to an Instagram account yesterday, Mike Bossy was on 91.9 FM in Montreal and stated that Tavares reportedly declined an $84 million dollar deal worth $10.5 million per year, with the years unknown. That post was deleted on Instagram. Does that mean it was real or was it fake? Well it may not matter anyways for a couple of reasons.
The first reason is Tavares is 26 years old and is currently in the prime of his career. He is from Mississauga, Ontario, which is not far from Toronto. Secondly, he doesn’t want to be with the dysfunctional Islanders anymore knowing they could possibly not be playing in New York in a couple of years from now.
Last season Tavares scored 28 goals and recorded 38 assists. His plus/minus was 4. Tavares is also a very good player on the power play. In 587 career games, Tavares has scored 235 goals and recorded 302 assists. His plus/minus is -30.
The Islanders also had a bad start to the 2016-2017 season. Tavares was sluggish to start the season under Jack Capuano. When Doug Weight was hired, Tavares looked more energetic and played with a passion.
Maybe Tavares will stay if they make the playoffs and win a couple of rounds with young players that can help him out. If not, here are a few destinations Tavares may wind up in: Toronto Maple Leafs, Nashville Predators, Calgary Flames, Montreal Canadiens, Edmonton Oilers, St. Louis Blues, or Columbus Blue Jackets.