Finally, after almost a full calendar year of anticipation, the New York Islanders and John Tavares are finally opening the idea of an extension.
Darren Dreger of TSN broke the news via Twitter, which was met with a flurry of activity from Islanders faithful.
More on Insider Trading. Tavares is now focusing on negotiations with the Islanders on an extension. Daily discussions last two weeks…
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 14, 2018
According to reports, Lamoriello has been in near-daily contact with both Tavares and his agent, Pat Brisson, since before taking the reigns of the organization.
While there are no official figures that have been tossed around, the expectation is that Tavares’ annual term will be at least within the $10 million range with a good chance the actual figure will be between $11 and $12 million.
Ridiculous term or not, Tavares has been and remains Lamoriello’s priority number one this offseason, but to fix the Islanders much more work needs to continue.
The Islanders finished dead-last in the NHL in goals-against, shots-against and penalty kill in the 2017-18 season which kept one of the league’s best offenses out of the postseason. Lamoriello is armed with two picks in each of the first two rounds of the draft, and if history is an indicator, it will be a very rare sight to see the Islanders use both picks.
In fact, Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic reports that there is significant interest from the Islanders in Washington Capitals goaltender Philipp Grubauer, who says he is ready for a starting job next season.
It didn’t take long for things to drastically change for the better around the Islanders. When Lou Lamoriello was introduced almost a full month ago, the Islanders were easily at the lowest they’ve been in more than a decade.
The club had ended a second-consecutive season outside of the playoffs after qualifying in their previous two and the negotiations that by all means should have started early in 2018 never took place. Former GM Garth Snow offered nothing of substance during an awkward and uncomfortable media day two days after the Islanders last regular season game.
Nearly two months later, the Islanders are armed with Lamoriello, a clear vision for the future and an all-out purge of what Lamoriello himself referred to as a much-needed “culture change.”
At the Islanders’ most crucial time for action, the biggest pitch for the forward to re-up with the squad that drafted him will likely arrive during the NHL draft this-coming Friday, June 22.