top article The New York Islanders
The Islanders have the most space in the NHL at over 32 million dollars and are going to use it. They owe pricey contracts to Brock Nelson, Calvin De Haan and Thomas Hickey. Chances are either De Haan, or Hickey walks this offseason.
Why it would work:
John is familiar with the Islanders; they’re the team that drafted him and given him both of his NHL contracts. Lou Lamoriello stepping into New York helps with negotiations and brings more legitimacy to the Islanders franchise. John has a wish list for Lou to return to the team but Lou doesn’t take the job if he doesn’t think he can do it properly. Plenty of promising forwards; Barzal, Eberle and Lee, all make it harder for Tavares to leave the only team he’s ever played for. It comes down to if he wants to win a cup in New York or somewhere else. New York can also offer him eight years instead of 7 like every other NHL team.
Why it might not work:
The arena situation in New York is obviously a problem, playing in a building where a car gets the best view is difficult on players. You want your fans to be into the team and the Islanders time in Brooklyn hasn’t proved that. If Tavares doesn’t re-sign in New York it’s not because of some sales pitch he hears this week it was likely pre-determined months ago. All the Islanders can do is hope that they’ve done enough to keep him happy and can continue to do so.