The New York Islanders captain made sure to be as punctual as possible when addressing the question of his pending UFA status and reaffirmed his desire to remain on Long Island.
The last couple of days after an extended break have been a bit more upbeat to the New York Islanders.
Injuries aside, the Isles got back to business after a 7-2 win over their rival New York Rangers, and fans are now treated to a juicy piece of information straight from the captain himself courtesy of Arthur Staple of Newsday.
Asked what his priority is in making a decision, Tavares said: “I want to stay on Long Island… I haven’t thought about being anywhere except with the Islanders.” #Isles
— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) January 15, 2018
No matter what Canadiens and Maple Leafs fans may tell you — Tavares has been both consistent and professional in nearly every remark made towards the media, all with the underlying message that he has no intentions of leaving.
Many expected a Tavares signing to occur immediately after the Belmont project was formally awarded to the Isles, but such has not been the case. This will likely be Tavares’ most important deal of his career and he deserves to take the time he needs to come up with a decision. Clearly, management has received this message and has given him the space to do so.
During the Belmont waiting period, the indication coming from the organization was that Tavares was allowing the Islanders to settle their own affairs in order before his own. After reading new reports suggesting the arena’s construction could wind up taking roughly three years in total, is it possible there’s more to the story we don’t know?
Perhaps Tavares is continuing his previous stance of allowing the organization to tidy up their business — as in, where do the Islanders play in the meantime — before negotiations open. Perhaps he’s just being the professional he’s been throughout the entire process.
With so much still up in the air regarding the organization’s interim future, don’t expect a decision to arrive anytime soon. That being said, it’s reassuring for everyone in Isles country to continue to hear the right things coming from the captain.