Ever since the New York Islanders selected John Tavares first overall in the 2009 draft, Toronto fans everywhere have patiently waited for the Toronto native’s contract to expire. The thought was that Tavares would want to finally come home and become the messiah of his hometown team. However, anyone that has paid attention to JT’s career thus far knew that was nothing more than a pipe dream. Since day 1, Tavares has shown his pride for the once illustrious franchise. He is loyal to the team and truly wants to stay here for his entire career.
Surely, JT could be saying this just because what else is he supposed to say? But, Tavares is a class act and is an honest shooter. He leads by example on and off the ice and embodies what it means to be a captain perfectly. He prides himself on being loyal and aspires to be like the greats who spent their whole careers with one team. The Islanders are by no means without their flaws, but they are a young team still on the rise and surely John can see the value in that.
If JT even made it to free agency every team in the league would be throwing outrageous offers at his feet. He’s in a situation very similar to that of Steven Stamkos’ and we saw how that turned out. Toronto thought they were in on him as well when in reality most players see the value in staying with their home grown team. Just because Tavares is from Toronto does not give them an edge over any other team in the league. Of course, this won’t stop the rumors from coming and we’re sure to hear more about JT to Toronto until the dotted line on his next contract is signed.
Tavares is an elite player in this league and he is the kind of player every team prays for when they make the first overall selection in a draft. JT has been everything he was hyped up to be and maybe even a little more. He is the cornerstone of the franchise and the face the team has been building around ever since he made his debut. The Islanders will do everything in their power to keep John around for as long as he wishes to play. I’d be absolutely shocked if a contract wasn’t signed before July 1, 2018.
So Islanders fans can stop worrying (if they ever truly were), and Toronto fans can hope 1st overall pick Auston Matthews turns into a player the caliber of JT. Islanders fans can be a pessimistic bunch but Tavares will always be the shining beacon of hope they can rely on. If any man can bring a championship back to this beloved franchise it is most certainly the man they call JT.