New York Islanders: Arena Remains Focus of John Tavares' Contract 1
NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 18: John Tavares #91 of the New York Islanders in action against the New Jersey Devils on February 18, 2017 at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Islanders 3-2. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Yesterday, Arthur Staple of Newsday reiterated a statement that remains key to John Tavares’ future with the New York Islanders.

There’s a very good chance John Tavares will remain an Islander once this whole situation is said and done.

The issue in that is finalizing where the New York Islanders will play past the 2018-19 season, and setting the franchise’s future in stone before Tavares is ready to do the same with his.

From what nearly every pundit has been reporting, it seems Tavares has not thought about leaving the organization. Rather, to quote former Islanders head coach Jack Capuano, the Islanders need to “pick their sh*t up” and finalize a deal to at least finalize the franchise’s immediate future.

This topic isn’t anything that’s new or surprising, not to say “I told you so”, but the topic has been discussed here on ESNY a couple times before. The entire debacle with the Islanders and their tumultuous arena situation is one of the three key factors in convincing the captain to re-up with the organization and stick around for the prime of his career.

Oh, and while we’re on the topic of Tavares’ contract, he did not turn down an eight-year, $84 million extension despite rumors circulating around the web.

Resolving the Arena Situation

Despite rumors and speculation of Mikhail Prokhorov pressuring the Islanders to return to their former home in Nassau Coliseum, the reunion is a longshot at best. It’s already been well-documented that the Coliseum is clearly unfit for NHL hockey, a major issue being that they’re about 3,000 seats short, among other factors.

The upcoming preseason contest against the Philadelphia Flyers could be an effective gauge to see how an NHL game could play out, but the indication is that if the RFP is approved for Belmont, the Islanders will continue to play at the Barclays Center until the new arena is constructed.

Both the New York Islanders and the Barclays Center have been discussing a new deal since the end of March, and it’s likely that it will revolve around a five-year window or so that will take place once the plans for the Islanders future are finalized.

Time is winding down for the 2017-18 season, and Tavares has already stated he’s comfortable heading into the season with his current deal. There’s still no reason to hit the panic button until the captain says otherwise.

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