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Entries with the tag: john tavares

John Tavares Is Returning To Toronto After Oblique Injury Preparing For The World Championship

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A Four Goal Night For John Tavares

from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,

Were John Tavares to stop right here, he would have a top-10 season in Toronto Maple Leafs history for goals and a top-25 campaign for points.

Fortunately he doesn’t have to.

There are still six games left to chase an even loftier position in the record book of his childhood team.

For Tavares’s next trick, how does a late charge at a 50-goal season sound? It’s suddenly possible after a career-best four-goal game against the Florida Panthers on Monday, the kind of night where he went hard to the net like always and got rewarded again and again.

He’s now up to 45 goals, and in need of a surging finish to become Toronto’s first 50-goal man since Dave Andreychuk in 1993-94. It’s not likely, but it’s not impossible either.

“If you get there, it would be great,” Tavares said after a 7-5 win. “It just means you’re helping the team out and contributing consistently. Obviously it’s a significant number in our league for many reasons.”

continued

Catch the game highlights below.

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John Tavares Was Prepared For His Return To Long Island

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

The favorite son grew up and went away, and when he returned home for a visit, well, guess what? He was not welcome.

Shocker.

John Taveras spent the first nine years of his career bleeding the blue and orange of the Islanders franchise he represented with dignity. That barely mattered to the rabid fans who came to the Coliseum to celebrate their first-place team, defend their team’s honor and heap insults on No. 91, who showed up in Uniondale for the first time wearing the Maple Leafs crest after signing with Toronto as a free agent on July 1.

Not necessarily in that order.

“You’re a liar!”

“I expected it was coming,” Tavares said of the constant abuse, as he spoke in the corridor outside the Leafs’ room after a fairly miserable performance that pretty much matched his team’s work product in the 6-1 defeat. “No one’s walked in my shoes. I know that.”

continued

added 8:50am, from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,

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Video- The New York islanders Pay Tribute To John Tavares

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John Tavares Returns To Long Island Tonight

from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,

Wearing your pajamas at any time of the day in public is apparently a thing these days. All the kids are doing it. But when John Tavares makes his first return to Long Island Thursday night as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs, fans of the New York Islanders will not be making a fashion statement. By the thousands they’ll be wearing pajamas and the statement will be one of resentment, bordering on hate.

In any event, things will not be pleasant for Tavares Thursday night. The pajama statement is, of course, a reaction to him signing with the Maple Leafs as an unrestricted free agent July 1, then shortly after tweeting out a picture of himself as a child sleeping in Maple Leaf pajamas, wrapped in Maple Leaf bed sheets on a Maple Leaf pillow case.

“It’s extremely raw and unfortunately, I think it’s going to be raw for a long, long time,” said Gary Harding, the executive vice-president of the New York Islanders Booster Club. (Harding’s wife, Claire, is the president and both will be at the game.) “We’re New Yorkers. Here, people don’t forget.”

continued

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Morning Line- Lou Lamoriello

“He had every right to make the decision that he did to go and to go to free agency, and I respect that. Let’s put it this way: I hope it’s rethought. I hope it’s the respect he should be getting. I do understand the passion that the fans have… We’re talking about a quality human being who served his years here extremely well, and I hope that’s taken into consideration.”

-Lou Lamoriello, GM of the New York Islanders on John Tavares. More from Laura Albanese of Newsday, Tavares and the Leafs play on Long Island on Thursday.

 
 

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John Tavares In Toronto Is Working Out Well

from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,

Winning free agency doesn’t always equate to winning hockey, although it’s been a long while since the NHL had a free agent like John Tavares.

Still, it isn’t difficult to concoct a scenario where things might not have gone so well for a 28-year-old arriving into hockey’s largest market with the league’s second-highest cap hit and sky-high expectations.

And yet, through the first segment of games the Toronto Maple Leafs have played with Tavares, he’s come exactly as advertised and been worth every penny of the $15-million he was paid in a signing bonus on the afternoon he chose Toronto over five other free-agent finalists.

"What I like about him is he’s a pro. What I like about him is he’s calm," said coach Mike Babcock. "What I like about him is he doesn’t – none of this [media attention] matters, he’s just going to come and do his job and he’s a man....

He’s also helped the Leafs put points in the bank at a rate never before seen in the franchise’s 100-plus year history.

Truth be told, they had no business heading into the holiday break with Sunday’s 5-4 overtime win over the Detroit Red Wings. They did a poor job of controlling the puck and generating chances for half the night — Tavares and linemates Mitch Marner and Andreas Johnsson included — and fell behind to an opponent making up the gap in skill with will.

But talent is what wins in this league and it pulled Toronto back into the game.

read on

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Afternoon Line- John Tavares

I know there will still be some people who feel I should have been traded — or asked for a trade at the deadline. (I respectfully disagree. I was Captain of the team, and I took that role seriously. My focus was on staying in the moment, and doing everything I could to help the Islanders win.) I also know there will still be some people who think I strung everyone along, throughout my free agency, just to get attention. (I didn’t … and if you know me, this one’s pretty funny.) And I for sure know there will still be some people who think I signed a wink-wink contract with the Maples Leafs, in secret, on Christmas morning of 1997. (Not true, though for the record I would have if they’d offered.)

And I guess what I just wanted to say is: that’s fine.

I don’t even mind at all. I really, truly do understand it. I get the passion, and I get the emotion, and I get the competitiveness and the obsessiveness and I get … all of that. It’s like I said, you know: I’ve been a fan since before I was three years old. I’ve been there.

But it’s also important to me that I don’t sell anyone short, here. It’s why I wanted to write this letter in the first place: so that all of you Islanders Faithful really do know how much I cherished our time together. Because I was born in Toronto — and that’s never going to change. But I grew up on Long Island — and now that won’t change, either.

-John Tavares of the Toronto Maple Leafs at The Players' Tribune.  Read much more from Tavares.

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John Tavares Joins The Toronto Maple Leafs

 

more below...

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Afternoon Line- Larry Brooks

 

Meaning he signs for a year with the Leafs, then re-ups with them next year for 8 years.

Right now, he can only sign wiith the NYI for 8 years, and that has to be done before the UFA period starts tomorrow.

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Video- Just Pick A Team John Tavares

So we can all move on.

 

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All The New York Islanders Can Do Is Wait For A Decision On John Tavares

from Andrew Gross of Newsday,

A league source indicated on Thursday there was no timetable for Tavares to make his decision but the clock is certainly ticking.

The NHL’s free agent market opens on Sunday following a five-day negotiation period.

The Islanders are the only team that can offer Tavares, the face of the franchise since he was selected first overall in 2009, an eight-year deal while the other teams are limited to seven-year offers. But that advantage expires on Sunday so it seems logical that if Tavares chooses to remain with the Islanders, he will agree to a deal before then.

The Islanders reportedly started the bidding with an eight-year, $88-million deal but the intense competition for his services means he may well receive a deal worth $12 million annually, if not more. The Islanders have an NHL-high $32.8 million in salary cap space, per CapFriendly.com.

If Tavares does reach the open market, he will become the highest-profile unrestricted free agent in NHL history.

more

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Evening Line- Don Cherry On John Tavares

Now I ask you this question. If you were thinking of going to another city wouldn’t you want to go and see the facilities of the dressing room, what kind of a city it was, what kind of an organization it was? Therefore him not flying to other cities I think Tavares has already made up his mind where he is going and he and his agent just want to hear other clubs to see if they will give them stupid money which I’m sure Lou Lamoriello won’t. I will bet even money that he stays with the Islanders.

-Don Cherry on John Tavares.  A bit more from Cherry.

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The Teams John Tavares Will Be Meeting With

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All Eyes On John Tavares

from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,

It’s unclear whether the Islanders will be making a pitch of their own with Lamoriello stationed in California, but there’s no doubt they occupy pole position a little more than a week out from July 1.

What the other pursuers need to focus on is the things they can offer Tavares to try and make him think twice. Money likely won’t be a big differentiator — although the Islanders are the only team that can offer a guaranteed eight-year term, while Dallas, Tampa and Vegas can trumpet their favourable tax situations.

Each of the organizations would be wise to play up the indicators that point to them being contenders both now and in the future. Tavares has appeared in just 24 playoff games across his nine NHL seasons and wants to stop the cycle of having to watch the biggest games on TV every spring.

Lifestyle perks will get his attention. Conversation about anticipated usage, role and linemates could help him warm up to the idea of a new reality.

more

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The Latest On John Tavares

via Pierre LeBrun tweets,

Pat Brisson, agent for John Tavares, confirms that his client will use the UFA speaking period to chat with 5 teams

and I know this is obvious thing to say, but just like Steven Stamkos did two years ago, Tavares could still decide to re-sign with the Islanders after hearing out other teams. We'll see.

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What Team Could John Tavares Sign With?

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

...there will be serious bidders, perhaps as close by as the Rangers and Devils, both of whom have cap space. Of the two, the resurgent Devils might be the most appealing to Tavares, what with MVP candidate Taylor Hall (39 goals, 93 points) in his prime and under contract for two more seasons. Step No. 2 for Devils GM Ray Shero, if able to get Tavares signed, would be to figure how quickly he could add five or more years to Hall’s pact — at a price equal to Tavares.

The Rangers don’t have a winger of Hall’s ilk to partner with him. There isn’t a more exciting place to play than Madison Square Garden when the Rangers are cooking, but it could be a while before that happens and Tavares has waited a long time for something good to happen — the very thing that could keep him from extending his tour with the Fish Sticks.

Elsewhere, the Blues want to make a splash and have the dollars to do it, and with young flashy wingers Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko in residence. With Tavares slotted between the two, it’s a line that could generate 200 or more points per season (since you asked, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and David Pastrnak rolled up 228 points last season). It’s probably his best fit.

In San Jose, the Sharks are still deciding whether to bring Jumbo Joe Thornton (39 on July 2) back for another tour. They recently rolled out crazy money (seven years/$49 million) for Evander Kane and the ex-Jet/ex-Sabre likely would be Tavares’s left winger much of the time. That in itself probably will keep Tavares away.

more plus other hockey topics...

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John Tavares Just May Re-Sign With The New York Islanders

from Sportsnet,

Want some good news, Islanders fans? Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reports that it’s starting to appear more likely there’s a deal to work out that keeps him around.

“The chances are getting better and better, I would say, that John Tavares is going to remain a member of the New York Islanders,” Johnston reported ahead of Thursday’s Game 7 of the Calder Cup Final. “He’s had a real active dialogue with Lou Lamoriello in the few weeks since Lou Lamoriello has taken over the Islanders and there is a belief that there is a deal there for John Tavares and the Islanders to be made.

“That being said, we are only a week and a half out from the period where he’s able to speak to other teams and if he does not reach an extension here in that window he will be able to speak to some of those other teams and this might change. But as it is now it does appear the wind is blowing him back towards the Islanders.”

read on

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With Lou Lamoriello In Complete Charge, Will John Tavares Stay?

from Pat Hickey of th Montreal Gazette,

Lamoriello’s arrival last month revived hopes that the Islanders would be able to retain Tavares’ services. He is in line to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and he is expected to be the most sought-after player on the market.

While Tuesday’s developments are welcome news to the long suffering Islanders fans, they are a blow to fans in Montreal, Toronto, San Jose and other teams hoping to add the all-star centre.

While teams can’t make a formal pitch to free agents until June 24, you can bet that the Canadiens and other teams have been putting together packages that might be attractive to Tavares. Money is believed to be a secondary consideration — Tavares will attract offers in US$10-million range wherever he signs — with Tavares looking for a team that’s ready to win.

read on

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Video- The Latest On John Tavares And The New York Islanders

via Sportsnet,

David Amber, Nick Kypreos, Kelly Hrudey and Elliotte Friedman discuss Lou Lamoriello joining the New York Islanders and talks with John Tavares plus more.

 

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John Tavares Still Unsigned

With each passing day, the anxiety level rises just a little bit. Come another month, especially after the NHL draft on June 22 in Dallas, if John Tavares remains unsigned with the Islanders, the fans will be in an all-out tizzy.

But it sure seems that is where the signs are pointing for the captain, who will turn 28 during this next training camp and has dutifully played out his first nine seasons with the organization that took him with the No. 1-overall selection in 2009. If he has gone this far without making decision — and the Islanders have continued to allow him the biggest breadth imaginable to consider about other options — then why not at least go through the free-agent courting process from June 25-30 and see just exactly what is available?from Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post,...

With logical speculation that the legendary Lou Lamoriello is going to be brought in either as the new GM or as president in charge of all hockey operations — the latter likely ending Snow’s tumultuous run — the structure of the front office is a question Tavares has to consider. And why would he make a decision before that is set?

more

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The Columbus Blue Jackets Need Help At Center, How About John Tavares?

from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,

There are a lot of ways to break down that playoff series. Strength down the middle is among the critical areas. In this case, the Jackets had their spine snapped by the Capitals.

That is why general manager Jarmo Kekalainen should make bolstering the position a priority in the coming months. He should kick the tires, hard, if pending unrestricted free agent John Tavares decides to pass on re-upping with the Islanders.

We don’t know how the Blue Jackets are structuring their cap for the coming years, or if they can fit Tavares beneath it (or if he could come here), but he is the center they’ve never drafted. Elite.

Kekalainen should have a list of second-line targets that might be gettable via a trade (and he has assets among his deep core of defensemen to dangle as bait). At the least, the Jackets could use someone who looks like Beagle on the fourth line. Beagle killed them.

more

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Teams Will Have To Clear Cap Space For John Tavares Or Erik Karlsson

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

“Even if John Tavares or Erik Karlsson hit the market,” noted ex-Calgary GM Craig Button, now a commentator on NHL Network and TSN, “where are they headed, or where are they going?”

Karlsson, perhaps the most offensively skilled blue liner in the NHL, still has one year remaining at $6.5 million with the Senators. Rumors ran rampant at the February trade deadline that he would be dealt, a conversation that no doubt will be rekindled around the amateur entry draft.

Tavares just finished up a six-year deal that paid him $5.5 million a year. The salary cap for next season is expected to approach $80 million.

There could be teams willing to hand Tavares and/or Karlsson max deals, which would be for seven years at about $16 million per — substantially above the $10.5 million that both Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane will earn with the Blackhawks at the top of the current pay pyramid next season.

At figures that high, noted Button, it makes for a quirky fit on any team’s cap structure.

“How do you even clear enough cap space to be able to get a Tavares or a Karlsson?” mused Button. “I’m not saying it can’t be done, but all of a sudden you are clearing out three players to get one and I’ve never figured out where that makes sense.”

a bit more and other hockey topics too...

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Afternoon Line- John Tavares

"The fan base has been tremendous since I got here, people say certain things. I hope it all works out, too, and I’m back as well. I just want to focus one game at a time and finishing the season strong and in the days and weeks ahead there will be plenty of time to think about it and start looking at the future and move forward.”

-John Tavares of the New York Islanders.  Andrew Gross of Newsday has more from and on Tavares.

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Afternoon Line- Bob McKenzie On John Tavares

“My sense of it is that it’s more likely than not that he’s going to go market. That’s my sense. And I think a lot of people feel that way. Now, if you’re a New York Islanders fan you’re predisposed to not want to think like that and you get angry if anybody like myself suggests that that’s a possibility. Of course it’s a possibility, and whether it happens or not remains to be seen.

-Bob McKenzie on John Tavares.  McKenzie was on Leafs Lunch today and Chris Nichols of FanRag Sports has more from Bob McKenzie on Tavares.

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Afternoon Line- John Tavares

“Whether it’s mental or just execution of a few plays, we just have to find a way to do it. No one’s going to feel sorry for us ... Obviously, this isn’t a whole lot of fun right now.”

-John Tavaras of the New York Islanders who have lost 7 games in a row.  Neil Best of Newsday has more on the Islanders.

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Afternoon Line- Fluto Shinzawa On John Tavares

It is possible the Islanders will not make the playoffs. They are looking up at Columbus, which currently has the best odds of landing the second wild-card position in the Eastern Conference. The Islanders will have to contend with the Hurricanes and Panthers, who are also fighting for the eighth spot. Before the deadline, GM Garth Snow’s biggest move was to acquire Chris Wagner from Anaheim for Jason Chimera.

None of this can make John Tavares feel good....

The Islanders have some good things. On Feb. 23, Snow re-upped Josh Bailey, Tavares’s linemate, to a six-year, $30 million extension. Rookie Mat Barzal will be a star for many years. But they do not have an ace in goal. Snow is locked in to Casey Cizikas ($3.35 million annually through 2021), Johnny Boychuk ($6 million through 2022), and Andrew Ladd ($5.5 million through 2023).

Tavares controls the situation. His decision will have long-lasting effects on the organization. 

-Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe where you can read more on Tavares and other topics including the rebuild for the NYR.

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Afternoon Line- Jon Ledecky On John Tavares

via Brain Compton tweets,

Ledecky on Tavares: "The ball really is in John’s court. He’s being very contemplative about it, he’s thinking about it. It’s a huge decision in a young man’s life. We want him to take his time and we want him to come to the decision that’s best for him and his family.”

More Ledecky: “We love John Tavares. We want John Tavares to remain here for his entire career as an Islander, and we want him lifting that fifth Cup." 

-Jon Ledecky, majority owner of the New York Islanders

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Montreal Must Be Prepared For John Tavares, Just In Case

from TSN,

One of the Canadiens’ most glaring problems is their lack of a first-line centre. An obvious solution would be New York Islanders’ star John Tavares, should he hit the open market this off-season. Dreger said that while Tavares leaving the Islanders is unlikely, the Habs have no choice but to be ready just in case.

“It’s a pipedream. I’m still in the camp that believes that Tavares and the Islanders are going to find that middle ground. He’ll stay and quite possibly finish his career with the Islanders.”

“In Tavares you have to be all-in if you’re the Canadiens, you’re so desperate up the middle of the ice. I had an NHL executive tell me earlier this week that he believes that if Tavares goes to market, someone is going to offer a seven-year term at $15 million per season. If you’re the Canadiens with $9 million in cap space right now, and that’s going to grow in the off-season, if he hits the market, you need to be one of those teams ready to pony up that kind of dough.”

more on Montreal trade options...

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Videos- What Do You Think Of This Hit By Brad Marchand On John Tavares?

Marchand received a five minute major for interference.

via Arthur Staple of Newsday,

“I’m fine,” Tavares said. “I think the video speaks for itself on that one. Don’t have much else to say.”

 

 

The Sportsnet panel discussed the hit below...

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Video- Oops John Tavares

Tavares loses and edge in the shootout.

 

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Video- I’ll Leave You With This - John Tavares Last Night

Work. Reward.

 

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John Tavares In No Hurry To Sign A Contract

from Arthur Staple of Newsday,

John Tavares is not worried about his contract situation. Even as training camp looms in less than a month, the Islanders captain and star player said the fact that he’s prepared to enter this season, the last under his current deal, without an extension is not causing him to lose any sleep.

“For me, there’s really no rush,” Tavares told Newsday in a phone interview Wednesday morning. “I’m trying to determine things, let the process run its course, keep the lines of communication open, keep it all internal and it’s been good so far … In terms of signing a new contract, there’s a lot that goes into it. To really dive into all the details, get into all the conversations I’ve had with Garth [Snow], the team and Doug [Weight], I don’t think it’s productive to the situation and the negotiating. I prefer to keep it all internal, that’s the best way to keep it all open, honest and healthy.”

continued

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Afternoon Line- Larry Brooks On John Tavares

Maybe this all works out for the Islanders. Maybe they get their rink. Maybe they get through the season in Brooklyn without anyone suffering an injury owing to poor ice conditions. Maybe the very young guys on the cusp make it. Maybe the young guys who have underachieved the past couple of seasons will thrive with Doug Weight behind the bench from beginning to end. Maybe the Jaro Halak-Thomas Greiss tandem in nets is more efficient than it was a year ago, and maybe general manager Garth Snow will be emboldened to yield a couple of assets for shorter-term help when the opportunity arises.

Maybe then, Tavares will put his signature where his heart is. The truth is, he has had five weeks to do it and has not.

-Larry Brooks of the New York Post where you can read more on Tavares.

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Time Is On The Side Of The New York Islanders Regarding A Contract For John Tavares

from Brett Cyrgalis of the New Yorki Post,

It has been three weeks since John Tavares became eligible to sign a contract extension with the Islanders, and yet he still remains without a long-term commitment to the team.

With each passing day, anxiety rises that the superlative captain will leave the only organization he has known. The 26-year-old has one year left on his contract at a club-friendly $5.5 million salary-cap hit, and general manager Garth Snow likely knows it would be prudent to trade him sooner rather than later instead of letting him walk away next summer for nothing.

But a quick poll by The Post of people in and around the NHL came back with a consensus that this is a case where patience is a virtue, and there is no need to panic — not yet, at least.

It also has been considered not out of the realm of possibility that Tavares could play this year out with Snow listening to all the calls that come in. If no deal is made, then Snow will hold out hope to still re-sign Tavares before he can reach unrestricted free agency next July 1.

continued

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Morning Line- Arthur Staple On The Contract Situation For John Tavares

Tavares has decided to wait and the Islanders have decided to ride it out, however long it goes. It could be a month, two months or all the way into next offseason before the captain decides he likes what he sees or decides he’s headed elsewhere.

It’s not exactly a comfortable feeling, certainly for Islanders fans who have made it known on social media how they’ll react if Tavares walks away. But the fans might have to live with that queasiness for a little while, because there doesn’t seem to be any decision coming soon.

-Arthur Staple of Newsday where you can read more on Tavares.

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Evening Line- Damien Cox

... if Tavares were to become a Leaf by next season via the trade route, it would immediately vault them into the position of contender in the Eastern Conference. That would have to be tempting for the Brendan Shanahan regime. Let’s see first what Tavares does, or doesn’t do, next weekend.

-Damien Cox of the Toronto Star where you can read more on Tavares plus other topics...

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Huh? I Don’t See It Either Regarding John Tavares

from Michael Arace of the Columbus Blue Jackets,

The Blue Jackets’ second priority is acquiring a game-changing forward, preferably a top-line center. It is going to hurt. I don’t know what is in any deal with Las Vegas, but in any case, there will be pain in the deal, and there will be more pain if the Jackets can swing something for an elite sniper or playmaker.

There is talk that John Tavares — a terrific No. 1 center — is available in trade. I don’t see it. If you are the New York Islanders, you sign Tavares, and if you are Tavares and won’t sign with the Islanders, you wait a year, drive a Brinks truck to the free-agent market and choose your destination.

I would bet the Blue Jackets have made a play for Tavares and offered a boatload of assets, but any deal would be contingent on Tavares agreeing to a contract. I don’t see it.

more on the Blue Jackets...

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Video- John Tavares Injured In Islanders Win Over The Devils

from Arthur Staple of Newsday,

The Islanders needed two points, and they got what they needed Friday night.

But when John Tavares limped off the ice with 3:14 remaining, it might have been the real end to their season, even as they kept their fading postseason hopes alive at Barclays Center.

It was an ugly 2-1 win in which the Islanders received 10 power plays from the sloppy Devils, who threw pucks over the glass and threw high sticks with equal abandon all night.

Anders Lee scored on the power play in the first period, Anthony Beauvillier scored at even strength in the second off a nifty feed from Josh Ho-Sang and Jaroslav Halak was sharp, making 26 saves as the Isles pulled within four points of the Bruins with five games to go.

That may all be moot, however. Tavares got tangled up with Devils defenseman Steve Santini behind the New Jersey net on the eighth Islanders power play and awkwardly tried to step through. Tavares appeared to catch his skate in a rut and immediately grabbed his left hamstring, going to the ice and needing help from his teammates to make it off the rink.

Doug Weight had no update after the game other than to say he’s hopeful — though also preparing to need another body for tomorrow’s game in Buffalo.

“It’s a big blow any time you see your best player in distress,” Weight said after his team snapped a three-game losing streak and a five-game losing skid at home. “We’re going to need a guy to come up, step in and contribute, and we need the guys who were better tonight to keep pulling the rope.”

continued

Video of the injury is below...

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John Tavares Excited With The Direction Of The New York Islanders

from Jonas Sigel of the CP at Sportsnet,

Even a rocky season, which led to the recent firing of long-time head coach Jack Capuano, seemingly hasn’t changed the long-term outlook or commitment of the club’s captain, who can become a first-time unrestricted free agent following the 2017-18 season.

Tavares said Saturday that he was even willing to start talks on a new contract this summer when he’s first eligible to sign an extension on July 1.

"I’ve always stated how much I enjoy playing on Long Island and the organization, how well they’ve supported me," Tavares said during the media day portion of NHL all-star weekend. "Obviously we’ve had some new ownership (come aboard recently) and they’ve brought some real commitment and shown their vision for the future so I’m excited about where the Islanders are headed and hopefully we can work something out."

read on

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John Tavares Remains Committed To The New York Islanders

from Steven Marcus of Newsday,

John Tavares is not looking to escape the woes surrounding the Islanders. Rather, he reaffirmed his commitment to remain with the organization despite the opportunity to test free agency after the 2017-18 season.

“I think for myself, I’ve always shown and talked about my commitment here,’’ said the four-time All-Star, who signed a six-year, $33-million extension in 2011, on Monday at Northwell Health Ice Center. “Wanting to have success here and keep building on some of the good things we’ve done. Obviously, this [low] point’s been disappointing.’’

The Islanders, who have played 38 games, are last in the Eastern Conference. Tavares has only 27 points (11 goals, 16 assists) and has scored two goals in the last 11 games.

“For myself, I know that I have not been to the level that I expect of myself and the standard that I want to be at,’’ he said. “[I keep] trying to improve and get better. I need to be counted on more, to be more of a difference-maker.’’

read on

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On Milan Lucic And John Tavares

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,

- Through 35 games, Milan Lucic is Edmonton’s No. 3 scorer with 10 goals and 14 assists. The ex-Bruin is on pace to score 56 points, almost right in line with his 20-35—55 output last season with Los Angeles.

Half of Lucic’s production, however, has taken place on the power play. In Edmonton’s 3-2 win over Arizona on Wednesday, Lucic scored his fourth power-play goal by hammering home a close-range strike on Mike Smith. Lucic is averaging 2:59 of power-play time per game, second-most on the team behind Connor McDavid (3:11). The left wing is seeing more man-advantage opportunities than he did in LA, where he averaged 2:07 of PP time per game.

The curious thing about Lucic’s first year as an Oiler is how he hasn’t produced with the same efficiency at even strength, especially considering he’s been riding with McDavid and Jordan Eberle on Edmonton’s first line. You would think a pee-wee could average a point per game with McDavid as a center. But it hasn’t been that easy for Lucic. The former Bruin is averaging a career-worst 1.22 five-on-five points per 60 minutes of play, according to http://www.corsica.hockey In co.mparison, McDavid is averaging 2.64 points per 60....

- It’s hard enough for John Tavares to center Josh Bailey and Anders Lee. On deeper teams, neither Bailey nor Lee would be considered first-line wings. The bigger issue is how short the Islanders’ bench becomes after Tavares takes his shift. Coach Jack Capuano’s second line is Andrew Ladd, Alan Quine, and Jason Chimera, hardly a murderers’ row of offense. It means opponents can deploy all their top defensive dogs against Tavares, who is so good that he still manages to create chances. For example, the Bruins rolled out Chara and Patrice Bergeron against No. 91. Against Pittsburgh, Chara and Bergeron were separated, tasked to defend Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, respectively. Tavares is signed through 2018 at a $5.5 million annual song. The Islanders may have to double his payday just to convince him to stay in Brooklyn.

more topics...

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  Tags: john+tavares, milan+lucic

John Tavares Is The Next Big Star UFA Target For The Toronto Maple Leafs

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

With 11 points in their first 11 games, the Leafs are doing decently with a lineup that included seven rookies Thursday night in Buffalo. Stamkos has seven goals for Tampa already and Vesey has six for the Rangers, and with those two Mike Babcock would have had a more diversified offence.

Being spurned twice wasn’t really a setback for Toronto. It was just a missed chance to jump forward.

The next opportunity now looks like the summer of 2018, when John Tavares of the New York Islanders is slated to become a free agent. But the pressure points will come well before that.

In many ways, this opportunity lines up much better for the Leafs than Stamkos ever did. And while Tavares is saying all the right things about being an Islander for life, he would have to be a masochist to want to stay.

Right now, the Brooklyn-based Isles have fallen behind the Leafs in the Eastern Conference standings, albeit in the very early going. Unlike Toronto, however, the Islanders are supposed to be a team thinking seriously about post-season success.

GM Garth Snow had a terrible off-season, losing free agents Frans Nielsen (to the Red Wings), Kyle Okposo (to the Sabres) and Matt Martin (to the Leafs). Snow signed 30-year-old free agent Andrew Ladd to the tune of seven years and $38.5 million, and so far Ladd has responded with zero goals and one assist.

read on

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John Tavares The Actor

from Neil Best of Newsday,

The director had a question for John Tavares: “How do you feel about pineapples?”

The director had an instruction for John Tavares: “Be super-evocative!”

The director had a request for John Tavares: “Do you know any good Canadian jokes?”

Tavares responded to all of it with an assortment of quizzical looks while good-naturedly going with the flow on Wednesday at Northwell Health Ice Center in East Meadow.

It was an Islanders off day, part of which their captain spent doing a photo and video shoot for his new endorsement deal with Vita Coco coconut water, doing his best to conform outside his comfort zone.

continued

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Tavares on the Islanders’ changes

From Newsday's Arthur Staple:

John Tavares knows how much his Islander team has changed this summer. Even though longtime teammates and friends Kyle Okposo, Frans Nielsen and Matt Martin departed July 1 in free agency and Tavares knew long before then that there was a chance all three could leave, it’s still hard for the Isles captain to believe.

“It hasn’t even really sunk in, maybe until you don’t see them at training camp or during the season and that hasn’t happened yet,” Tavares told Newsday earlier this week. “I don’t think people realize how much I lean on Kyle and Frans, as well as guys like Travis , Clutter [Cal Clutterbuck], Johnny Boychuk. Having those different perspectives is a huge help. And personally for me, you go through a lot of ups and downs and you’re trying to manage a lot of things. When you have people you can rely on, especially with those friendships I have with Kyle and Frans are deep.”

The challenge now, with a little over a month until the Islanders open training camp, is how to handle the loss of three such deeply ingrained players in the fabric of this organization — Okposo and Nielsen were Tavares’ alternate captains the past three seasons — while integrating three veterans in Andrew Ladd, Jason Chimera and PA Parenteau.

Oh, and there’s another wrinkle: When players come to Long Island for physicals on Sept. 21, the captain, the coach and the two most experienced goaltenders won’t be around.

Continued

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  Tags: andrew+ladd, frans+nielsen, jason+chimera, john+tavares, kyle+okposo, new+york+islanders, pa+parenteau

All John Tavares

from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,

How do you react when you hear reports of the Isles moving again soon, from Brooklyn to Queens?
Those things are out of our control as players. Having certainty on where you’re playing is important. Ownership has said they’re committed to Brooklyn. If things change, we’ll see. Obviously there are reports. I know the organization doesn’t comment on rumours, so if it happens, it happens.

Is the Barclays Center ice really as bad as its reputation?
Yeah, it had its moments. To be dead honest, I think the worst ice I skated on all year was in Toronto. It was so hot the one game [on March 9], I couldn’t believe how warm it was. We were playing there on a back-to-back, and by the end of the third period we couldn’t even move. We lost [4-3 in a shootout]. There are some hiccups in being in a new arena, in a rink that technically wasn’t build for hockey. There were hurdles to overcome early on, but I think as the year went on it got better and better. The ice was at its best in the playoffs, to be perfectly honest with you. If they continue to work at it and make improvements, it’ll get better.

much more including World Cup talk and a few players who left the Islanders...

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John Tavares Wants To Continue Playing For The New York Islanders

from Emily Sadler of Sportsnet,

Tavares, who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in July 2018, had a clear response when asked about a possible future with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“I would not count on that,” Tavares told Sportsnet’s Andrew Walker during an appearance on Sportsnet 590 The FAN Tuesday.

"I think I've always showed my commitment, my appreciation and my desire to play on Long Island. I'd love for that to continue for the long haul," he said. "I think you look at some of the greatest players in the game, they have been able to spend their entire careers somewhere and I hope I'm in that same position.

"Obviously being from Toronto, people are going to make those connections...It is what it is. It's nothing I can control. I just want to go out there and be the best player and best person I can be for the Islanders, day in and day out, and I'm just going to focus on tomorrow and the upcoming season," said Tavares, whose Game 6 overtime winner in April helped New York to its first playoff series win in 23 years.

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Islanders remain logistically disadvantaged

The New York Post's Larry Brooks discusses the potential fates of more than a few free agents in his Sunday night Slap Shots column, but his focus involves the New York Islanders, who may not be able to retain Frans Nielsen, Kyle Okposo, Matt Martin, or, Brooks fears, many free agents going forward:

What’s even worse for the Islanders — who may also lose fourth-line crusher Matt Martin to free agency — is the constant echo reverberating throughout the industry that the unwieldy logistics created by the franchise’s attempt to straddle Brooklyn and Long Island will discourage prime free agents from enlisting.

You should know that those holding that opinion have absolutely no ax to grind with the Islanders. Indeed, several people who took that position over the weekend have nothing but positive things to say about Jon Ledecky and the incoming ownership.

Plus, one agent with a marquee stable of players has told Slap Shots that he would not recommend that his clients sign with the Islanders as a result of the bad ice conditions at Barclays during the playoffs that he deemed “dangerous.”

Sometimes these pronouncements can be hyperbolic, and money can cure many ills, but the perception around the NHL is that the Islanders — hockey department and personnel aside — are not a destination franchise.

This is a critical juncture for the Islanders, who have spent years amassing draft picks and prospects but probably only have this season to cement Tavares’ long-term future with the organization. For if the club cannot attract free agents and can’t keep its own from walking out the door, then what are the odds that No. 91, in a dead heat with Pat LaFontaine as the greatest non-Dynasty player in franchise history, signs on for the duration before he can hit the open market in only two summers?

Brooks continues at length...

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  Tags: john+tavares, matt+martin, new+york+islanders

Who Else But John Tavares

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

We toss around words like "redemption" and "breakthrough" and "leadership" so often, it's possible their real meanings get dulled, washed out a bit.

And then there are moments like Sunday night when John Tavares embodies all of them in, hauling his New York Islanders to a place it has not been since the captain was a 2-year-old toddler.

When Tavares circled the Florida Panthers net and tucked home the game winner 10 minutes, 41 seconds into the second overtime period to send the Islanders to the second round for the first time since 1993, it was as though the slate had been wiped clear for an entire franchise and its long-suffering fan base.

"First and foremost, I think our fan base, they've been dying for it, obviously," Tavares said in the Islanders' strangely muted locker room considering the great weight that had been figuratively lifted from their collective shoulders.

In some ways, his performance and the win for the team wiped the slate clean for Tavares, who had an up-and-down season but who might be the best player on the planet right now.

continued

added 8:02am, Christine Simpson of Sportsnet talked with Tavares post-game, watch below...

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John Tavares’ 2OT winner powers Islanders into second round

The New York Islanders defeated the Florida Panthers 2-1 in double overtime, advancing to the second round, where they will play the Tampa Bay Lightning. John Tavares scored the game-winning goal:

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