John Tavares said the New York Islanders are “heading in the right direction.”
That’s good to hear. It’s good the Islanders are heading in any direction. The Islanders are one of those NHL franchises that seem to perpetually be in limbo, not going forward or backwards. Just like the Florida Panthers, Calgary Flames or Carolina Hurricanes, the Islanders have been going nowhere since Tavares joined them in 2009 as the first draft choice.
Tavares becomes a free agent July 1. He told the Islanders he’s going to listen to some rivals, but he’s still interested in remaining with New York. The team has hired Lou Lamoriello as its general manager and Barry Trotz as its head coach; both have won Stanley Cups.
Rookie-of-the-year Mathew Barzal is a future superstar. Jordan Eberle, a good friend since they played against each other as kids, is also with the Islanders. Indeed, the Islanders are putting pieces in place to challenge for a Stanley Cup and a decent contract could convince him to stay because they surely won’t win without Tavares.