Keep Calm, JT will stay
Yes I know it’s after July 1st and John Tavares does not have a new deal. There is no deal in place for an arena, so what makes me feel so calm about the captain staying? Loyalty. John has proven since draft day that he is loyal to this organization. He was questioned plenty of times before the draft if he would choose not to play for the Islanders if drafted number 1, but that wasn’t the case at all. John was extremely grateful for the Islanders organization committing to him and putting their faith in him to lead this franchise back to greatness.
Unfortunately, greatness has not arrived yet but that is not because of John. It’s because of the incompetence of the front office and coaching staff but I still don’t believe that’s enough to steer John away from this team. Both John and the organization are saying the right things. Garth Snow, Doug Weight and Tavares himself have all said they went John to retire an Islander. I think the fan base will have no problem agreeing with that. John has proven that he is a star player in this league and has made mediocre players around him into goal scorers (Moulson,Parenteau,Boyes,Bailey etc.) The list continues to go on!
I think it’s fair for Islander fans to panic that a deal isn’t done yet. Can you blame us? This franchise has delivered us nothing but negative news for the past 20 years. I just believe that in this scenario, the outcome will be different. I think John is just taking his time to hammer out this contract. I’m sure he’s waiting on the results of the RFP and to see if the Islanders will be playing in Belmont. How can you expect a guy to commit the next 8 years of his career to a team when he doesn’t even know where they will be playing? Looking at it from John’s point of view, it’s only fair he is given the chance to take his time and consider all of his options.
The Islanders have not done too much in terms of convincing him to stay. They traded one of his best friends in the past (Moulson), lost many more close ones to free agency (Martin, Nielsen, Okposo etc.) I do think acquiring Jordan Eberle this summer was a big move towards convincing John they want to support him with legitimate talent but I think more needs to happen. We’ve heard about Matt Duchene all summer but it’s time for Garth to step up and make a big move. He has to prove to his captain that he is all in and is committed to winning a Stanley Cup.
All of John’s teammates seem pretty confident based off of their recent quotes that he will likely remain with the team. Even former Islander Matt Martin was quoted recently saying how much he’d love to have John join him in Toronto but he believes he’s a loyal guy and will remain with the Islanders. It’s fair for the fanbase to be worried about their superstar potentially leaving. It could be the ultimate death to this franchise.
If John is loyal to his word, as he always has been, then I would not worry about him going anywhere. He’s repeatedly stated he wants to be one of those players that wants to spend his entire career with one organization and that he wants to retire an Islander. I think if it’s January 1st 2018 and there has been no progress on any contract talks then I think it’s time to panic. For now, let the arena situation work itself out and John’s contract will follow right after. I firmly believe John Tavares will dawn the orange and blue for the rest of his career.