In an extremely surprising development, New York Islanders majority owner Jon Ledecky has announced that he will meet with the media tomorrow afternoon… followed by Islanders general manager Garth Snow and head coach Doug Weight.
This development, according to The Athletic’s Arthur Staple:
Now… what’s the big deal, you may be wondering? Read between the lines and you’ll see that this is in fact a HUGE development that could end up ultimately impacting the entire future of the Islanders franchise. The announcement that both Snow and Weight will speak following Ledecky likely means that both men are safe in their current roles. What this means for the future of superstar captain John Tavares is anyone’s guess but fan speculation is that Tavares is not interested in staying with the team so long as Snow is in charge.
Likely, the most important factor in Tavares' decision process though is whether or not he feels the Islanders are committed to winning and competing for a Stanley Cup championship. The offseason moves of Snow last summer seemed to move the Islanders in the right direction, most notably the acquisition of winger Jordan Eberle, but ultimately the team failed to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a second season in a row. This could be the final straw.
It’s no secret that if and when Tavares elects to test the free agent market that he’ll be one of, if not THE, most sought after free agents in NHL history. The 27 year old former 1st overall draft pick’s six year, $33 million contract expires on July 1st and when it does he’ll be eligible to sign with any team he chooses. Insiders and analysts expect multiple teams to line up for Tavares’ services with the Montreal Canadiens, Vegas Golden Knights, Vancouver Canucks, Detroit Red Wings and New York Rangers expected to be the most aggressive suitors.
Tavares, who has spent his entire career with the Islanders, had a remarkable 37 goals, 47 assists and 84 points this season and is an almost lock to hit the point-per-game every season. Whatever team ended up getting him, Islanders or otherwise, will be getting on Hell of a hockey player.