Three pitches the Islanders should make to convince John Tavares to resign with the team

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It’s only November right now and the Islanders are rolling. But, something that has to be on the back of fans minds and even John Tavares’ is that it is his contract season. It’s unclear whether there have been talks … Continue reading

It’s only logical for the Islanders to return to the Coliseum

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If anyone were to take a poll of all Islanders fans, and ask them where they want their team to play their home games, I’d guarantee majority of these fans would say the Islanders should return to Nassau Coliseum, the … Continue reading

Should fans be concerned about the Islanders retaining John Tavares?

The pressure is on the Islanders front office to lock up superstar John Tavares, who has 1 year left on his current deal. Tavares has found a lot of success with the Islanders, but the team has yet to make the next step during his tenure and make a deep playoff run. With rumors that Tavares is looking to sign with a team like the Toronto Maple Leafs, with a lot of young stars, fans have reason to be concerned. If Tavares leaves the Islanders, the team that seems to always be rebuilding will take major steps back, and they pretty much would have to start over if they lose the former number 1 overall pick.

But, can one really blame John Tavares if he signs elsewhere after the 2017-18 season? He’s been with the Islanders since 2009, and the team has won just 1 playoff series during that span. But, the blame can’t be put on him, as he does it all on the ice. During his tenure, the team has never had a stable goalie, and has been in search of that all star linemate to work alongside him.

To add to the team’s subpar personnel during his tenure, the franchise is also currently unsure of where the team’s home games will be played in the future. Rumors fly out that the Islanders and Barclays Center will eventually opt out of their deal. If that eventually happens, then where would the team play? A return to Nassau Coliseum, where majority of the fans want the team to return to? Or a place in Belmont, a rumor that continues to emerge? A last resort would be a place in Hartford, which would be tough for fans to see, especially with a bulk of the fanbase living on Long Island. Whether these rumors are true or not, they still have to be discouraging to Tavares, especially to pledge his allegiance to a team that couldn’t tell you where their home games would be played in 2019.

But, the Islanders did acquire Jordan Eberle in a trade this offseason with the hopes of him giving John Tavares the help he needs. On paper, the Islanders should have a very good team going into the 2017-18 season. With veteran goal scorers like Andrew Ladd and Jordan Eberle, and Anders Lee coming off of his best season, Tavares could have a decent supporting cast going into the season. Plus, young players like Anthony Beauvillier and Josh Ho-Sang showed the team a lot down the stretch last season.

Their personnel is their pitch to John Tavares that they have young talent, as well as veteran players who have had major success in the past. While there are many negatives to the franchise, for once their personnel seems decent, at least at the forward position. There certainly are still some question marks at goalie and defense, but on paper this team should make the playoffs. Plus, the team could still make some moves this offseason if the right player becomes available. But, is making the playoffs going to be enough to keep Tavares in an Islanders uniform? Only he knows what he wants. So, do fans have a lot to be concerned about? Absolutely, but keep in mind that they have a pretty deep roster. If this team shows they can win with consistency, Tavares could very well stay with the organization. For now, fans should certainly cherish having John Tavares for at least 1 more year because the reality is we do not know where he will be playing next season.

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Assessing the Islanders’ situation for the upcoming Expansion Draft

During the NHL offseason, the main focus of the Islanders has been to lockup star forward John Tavares. But, with the expansion draft coming up on June 21st, with the NHL adding a team to Las Vegas, the Islanders can go one of two ways in protecting players who can’t be claimed by the Vegas Golden Knights. Teams have until June 17th to protect players. According to nhl.com, teams can either protect 7 forwards, 3 defensemen, and 1 goaltender, or 8 skaters (forwards or defensemen), and 1 goaltender. To see the complete rules of the expansion draft in detail, check them out on nhl.com. After players are protected, Vegas is allowed to select one player from each team who is not protected, and that’s how they will form their team. For argument’s sake, let’s take a look at the two options and project how the Islanders’ list may pan out.

If the Islanders go with the 7 forwards, 3 defensemen, and 1 goaltender method, here’s how that list may look:

7 Forwards:

  1. John Tavares
  2. Andrew Ladd
  3. Anders Lee
  4. Josh Bailey
  5. Brock Nelson
  6. Ryan Strome
  7. Casey Cizikas

3 Defensemen:

  1. Nick Leddy
  2. Johnny Boychuk
  3. Ryan Pulock

1 Goaltender:

  1. Thomas Greiss

3 Players the Vegas Golden Knights should consider taking under this method:

  1. Travis Hamonic (D)
  2. Thomas Hickey (D)
  3. Calvin de Haan (D)

If the Islanders decide to protect 8 total skaters and 1 goaltender, here’s how that list may look: 

8 Skaters:

  1. John Tavares (F)
  2. Andrew Ladd (F)
  3. Anders Lee (F)
  4. Brock Nelson (F)
  5. Nick Leddy (D)
  6. Johnny Boychuk (D)
  7. Travis Hamonic (D)
  8. Ryan Pulock (D)

1 Goaltender:

  1. Thomas Greiss

3 Players the Vegas Golden Knights should consider taking under this method:

  1. Ryan Strome (F)
  2. Josh Bailey (F)
  3. Calvin de Haan (D)

Now it will be interesting to see which method of protecting players the Islanders choose, and they will be faced with some tough options. If the Islanders go with the 7F, 3D, 1G method, chances are they would lose either Travis Hamonic or Ryan Pulock, each who would probably battle for that third defensemen spot behind Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk. But, if the Islanders go with the 8 skaters and 1 goaltender method, they will be able to protect Hamonic and Pulock, but will need to decide who their 4th forward to protect will be if they only want to lock up 4. It could end up being between Brock Nelson, Ryan Strome, and Josh Bailey. So, no matter which method the Islanders choose, they most likely will lose an important player. But, this is the cost of expansion in sports, and the Islanders will pay the price. The Vegas Golden Knights will most likely gain a solid, well established NHL player from the Islanders.

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