Sep 14, 2011

Breaking News: John Tavares Signs 6 year, $33m Extension

As we had heard rumored last night, John Tavares has officially signed a 6 year extension with the Islanders worth an average cap hit of $5.5m. The contract is slightly backloaded, paying 4m the first year, 5m the second, and 6 m the last 4. has the official story up now.

AT: Well, what else can you say besides what we stated last night? John Tavares is the key piece this franchise is going to rely on to return to the playoffs, he is the biggest part of the rebuild and now he has shown that he is dedicated to this franchise amidst swirling rumors about relocation. There is not much you can say about Tavares that hasn't already been said by the majority of Islander fans already. We needed someone of his caliber to come to Long Island, and we got it. But not only that, we received a player of true character as well. Not only did he sign the extension this summer as compared to us going through a Doughty-esque tribulation next summer, but he signed the deal at an absolute bargain for Charles Wang. A 5.5m cap hit is an outstanding deal for a player that will almost definitely eclipse 70 points and possibly 80 this year if his play continues at the rate it's going. For all sides - management and Tavares and his agent - this was a great moment.

CH: Oh man. This is absolutely wonderful no matter how you slice it. John Tavares has said for three years this is where he wants to be, and if you didn't believe him - well, you don't really have a choice now. The former #1 pick will be an Islander for the next seven seasons (this year plus his new contract), showing the rest of the league that Long Island may not be so bad after all. This gives the Islanders somewhat of a credibility jolt and gives the fanbase something they can really cheer about. Thus far, Tavares has been everything the Isles have expected and more. He has really taken to this organization, the same way that the great Islanders of past years have. It's clear the crest on the front means a lot to John, as there is little doubt he potentially left some money on the table here.

The contract itself is a steal, but really it's the irrelevant part of it. Tavares means so much to this franchise that any amount of money would be worth it at this junction, so getting him at a cap hit of only $5.5 million is unbelieveable. There is little doubt Tavares will eclipse that value by 28 years old.

As far as the captaincy goes, I am absolutely on board with giving it to Tavares now. Before today, I thought Streit should have been the guy. But when you take a look at it, you just had the centerpiece of the rebuild sign on long term cutting into his UFA years. He loves the organization, the community, and his teammates. He has the drive of a champion and the ability of an elite player in the game. He encompasses what it means to be an Islander at the ripe age of 21. You get long-term stability - the last Islander captain to last more than 3 seasons was Patrick Flatley. This is the guy to lead you to the next level. Let him take the reigns and run with it. It's Tavares' time, and it's Tavares' team.

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