September 14, 2011

John Tavares to Sign Six Year Extension; Captaincy Next?

No matter how many times he repeated himself people just didn't want to listen.

Time and time again, John Tavares has repeatedly stated how much he wanted to be a member of the New York Islanders and how he was in it for the long haul. The most recent comments came last week during the ESPN media tour. But people were still skeptical, still scoffed and still looked at the situation from their own point of view rather than from the players.

This is a rare player in the sports world today - one who was drafted by what was a miserable team at the time, one who vowed from that moment that he wanted to be "the guy" to turn them around and the one who is so far standing by his commitment.

When all is said and done, Tavares will have himself a new six year, $33 million extension in addition to the year remaining on his entry level contract.

It's a fantastic deal for all involved. For Tavares, he gets to head into a crucial season for the team and not have the whispers surrounding his future with the team. He can play with a clear head. For the Islanders, they get their franchise player signed for a very nice $5.5 million a season, hardly a back breaker when it comes to building a team. The term is also perfect, since we've seen time and time again what can happen with super-long term contracts both first hand (Rick DiPietro and Alexei Yashin) and abroad (Mike Richards and Jeff Carter). Tavares also gives himself a chance to earn more money in the prime of his career as he progresses towards his potential.

The press conference to make all of this official will be Thursday afternoon at 1 PM. But will there be more of an announcement than just the signing of an extension?

Many have speculated on the idea that Tavares could also be named the team's new captain. I'll admit this is something I never put much thought into because I didn't think they would go with one of the young guys. But I would not be surprised to see this happen now. I'm still leaning towards wanting it to be someone like Mark Streit, but if the Isles plan on having Tavares be the captain down the road, then they may decide to get it over with sooner rather than later.

Time will tell, and we'll find out tomorrow. For now we enjoy the news of the impending extension.


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