John Tavares New York Islanders
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

With July 1 just 17 days away, pending free agent John Tavares and the New York Islanders are reportedly in talks of a contract extension.

John Tavares, the New York Islanders first overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, is set to become a free agent on July 1 if he and the Islanders can’t agree on a new deal.

Tavares just finished the fifth and final year of a very team-friendly deal worth $5.5 million annually. The captain is due for a pay raise that could see him making double, give or take, what he was formerly being paid.

As July 1 gets closer and closer, the Islanders’ chances of signing their franchise player were looking smaller and smaller. They had since July 1, 2017 to get a deal done and the one-year window is nearly shut.

However, the Islanders organization has gone through some major, franchise-altering changes these past few weeks. It started with the hiring of Lou Lamoriello as the team’s president of hockey operations.

Lamoriello has since assumed the general manager position as well in relieving former general manager Garth Snow of his duties. Lamoriello has also relieved head coach Doug Weight of his duties and wants to have a new coach by the middle of next week.

With that, Darren Dreger of TSN reports that Tavares and the Islanders have begun contract negotiations. Dreger also mentions that Lamoriello has been in constant contact with Tavares, sharing his vision for the team.

Tavares has played all nine seasons of his NHL career with the Islanders. The 27-year-old has played a total of 669 regular season games with the Islanders, scoring 272 goals and 621 points over that span.

This past season alone, Tavares had 37 goals and 84 points in 82 games.

In 24 playoff games, Tavares has 11 goals and 22 points. Four of his 11 goals were game-winners, including two scored in overtime.

Since Tavares has been on board (and even before that) the team has had very little success. The Isles have made just three postseason appearances in those nine seasons but have not qualified in the last two and have just one playoff series win in 25 years (2016 over the Florida Panthers).

For someone that wants to win, Tavares must like what Lamoriello has been telling him which is great news for both parties involved.

As a die-hard New York Islanders fan, I joined ESNY to help keep other Isles fans updated on what's going on with their favorite team. Follow me on Twitter (@Shazen21) for updates on the team and when I post new content and check out my YouTube (Islanders Highlights) for player highlight videos, pump up videos, and more!