February 28, 2018 | 6:45Pm ET
TAVARES STILL ISN’T CONCERNED OVER CONTRACT
John Tavares, centre
New York Islanders captain John Tavares remains the subject of much speculation, having still not agreed to terms on a contract extension with the organization.
Tavares can become an unrestricted free agent July 1 and plans on meeting with ownership and management once the Islanders’ season comes to a close before officially deciding whether or not to test the free agents waters.
One of the teams believed to have interest in pursuing Tavares if he hits the open market is the Montreal Canadiens.
With the Islanders battling the Canadiens tonight, members of the local media asked him about his future and the speculation surrounding the Habs.
“It’s not something I worry about so much on a daily basis,” Tavares told reporters. “I’m very fortunate to be playing in the NHL and have the opportunity that I have and the success that I’ve been able to have.
“I’m not going to over-think it all the time.”
Tavares could command upwards of $15 million per season this summer, though some believe his next annual salary will hover around the $12.5 million mark, which would tie him with Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid for the largest cap hit in the NHL. Either way, he’s poised to become one of the highest players, if not the highest player, in the NHL starting next season.
“When guys to come to this point in their career, they get an opportunity to take their time and make decisions, and that’s what John’s doing,” said Islanders coach Doug Weight. “Anything further than that, we’re all hopeful, and we all feel good about it... right now, we just want to win tonight, those things are going to take care of themselves. But certainly, it’s on your mind.”
Tavares is currently tied for eighth in the NHL in goals (30), and sits 17th in the League in points with 64 in 63 games, thus far.