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John Tavares, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 draft, is set to play next season on the final year of his contract. Newsday reports that the Islanders are likely to offer him an eight-year contract that could be worth up to $80 million.
With his first goal, the 239th of his NHL career, Tavares passed Bob Bourne for seventh on the Islanders’ all-time list. Mayfield’s goal was the first by an Islanders defenseman this season. Late in the third period, Tavares chased a puck around the Devils’ net and then pulled up, grabbing the back of his left leg. He stayed down and had to be helped off the ice.
Tavares’ third goal of the game came when he redirected Pelech’s shot from the point past Domingue for the seventh hat trick of his NHL career. John Tavares scored the shootout winner, as the New York Islanders earned a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
“When they brought it to our attention, I think everybody was excited about it,” said Islanders forward Josh Bailey, who met Brandon after the home opener last season. “I had a chance to meet the Bloom family a while ago. They’re really quality people and they’re going through a tough time.
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The native of South Setauket, New York, had his own stall in the Islanders dressing room. He was invited to sit with the players during their meeting before practice. Then, with a No. 1 on the back of his jersey, he got ready for practice alongside his teammates.
When Tavares circled the Florida Panthers net and wholesale nhl jerseys and tucked home the game winner 10 minutes, 41 seconds into the second overtime period to send the Islanders to the second round for the first time since 1993, it was as though the slate had been wiped clear for an entire franchise and its long-suffering fan base.
“I’ve enjoyed my time being an Islander, and I want that experience to continue,” Tavares told TSN on Tuesday. “For me, I just want to get ready for the upcoming season and work on being the best player I can be for the Islanders.
Tavares, who entered Saturday’s game on a four-game point drought, returned to the scoresheet in the first period and to the highlight reel in the third. On a two-on-one rush with Lee, Tavares showed tremendous patience, making a few quick moves and outwaiting Brent Burns before feeding Lee with a backdoor pass through the defenseman’s legs to make it 4-2.
The New York Islanders weren’t playing particularly well, they weren’t getting results and they were languishing behind other teams in the East. So there wasn’t a lot of motivation to look at the standings on a daily basis. Plus, Tavares has a personal philosophy that he doesn’t really start tracking the playoff race until the All-Star break.
In some ways, his performance and the win for the team wiped the slate clean for Tavares, who had an up-and-down season but who might be the best player on the planet right now. The biggest question for the New York Islanders this season is whether they’ll be good enough to entice superstar captain John Tavares to commit long term to the previously troubled franchise.
“Ideally, you’d like to get something done as soon as possible,” Tavares told reporters. “But at the same time, like I said, it’s a process, and I think we’ve seen other guys go through it and it doesn’t necessarily happen the first day it can happen. I’m just speaking out loud. We’ll see how things go.”
Tavares, coming off a 70-point season, also struggled to jell with a rotating set of new linemates this season. However, he combined for five goals in two games last week, increasing his season total to 16 goals and 16 assists.
Casey Cizikas is leading the team with five points, with Brock Nelson and Joshua Ho-Sang right behind with four. Jordan Eberle, whom the team acquired from Edmonton in the offseason, has three assists in six games, while John Tavares has just two goals and an assist.
The two were unstoppable in the 2009 World Junior Championships, combining for 14 goals and 28 points in six games, and they have reunited a handful of times in World Championships since.