aPRIL 9, 2018 | 7:08PM ET
TAVARES, ISLANDERS HAVEN’T PLANNED SIT-DOWN
John Tavares, centre
As the New York Islanders begin to comb through what went wrong this season, the biggest question on everyone’s mind is whether or not captain John Tavares will sign a long-term extension with the club.
Tavares, 27, is set to become an unrestricted free agent July 1, upon which he can sign with any other team to a maximum seven-year deal; he can ink an eight-year contract by re-signing with the Islanders.
Tavares voiced his position to media earlier today, telling New York Newsday, “I love it here,” but also added that “I think I’ve earned the right to take my time. I don’t know if it’ll be two weeks, a month, two months.”
It was originally believed Tavares and his agent, Pat Brisson, would meet with Islanders co-owners Scott Malkin and John Ledecky and GM Garth Snow in the coming weeks to discuss the team’s future plans and whether or not they include Tavares, but a source close to the situation told TFP on Monday that as of this afternoon, no meetings have been scheduled.
Tavares and Brisson are expected to chat about the star centre’s options this week, upon which they could approach the Islanders and request a get-together. It’s unclear if or when the Islanders plan on reaching out themselves for a sit-down.
“Obviously, it’s a big decision,” Tavares said, as quoted by Newsday. “I want to give myself the best chance to win the Stanley Cup.”
If Tavares hits the open market, almost every other team in the NHL will approach him, though many will be restricted to offer a significant contract due to salary cap restraints.
It’s believed the Montreal Canadiens, Vegas Golden Knights, San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks and Carolina Hurricanes are among the teams that will significantly pursue Tavares if he becomes a UFA this summer.
In 82 games with the Islanders this season, Tavares registered 37 goals and 47 assists for 84 points, marketing the third time in his career he’s eclipsed 80 points in a season.