The New York Islanders made a massive move on Wednesday, a move that will secure their long-term future on Long Island, and many felt that would be the major move needed to get captain John Tavares on board for a big contract extension.
Tavares will be an unrestricted free-agent at the end of the season and reports suggested that the uncertainty about the team's future in terms of an arena was a major factor in why he had yet to re-sign with the team.
Presumably after today's announcement that would be taken care of and the Islanders and Tavares could get down to business and sign a massive new deal, but TSN insider Darren Dreger believes that Tavares will not be re-signing before the end of the season.
"Tavares has earned the right to unrestricted free agency," said Dreger as per Chirs Nichols. "And the longer this thing drifts into this regular season, July 1 gets closer; and many believe that he's pushing towards fully investigating being a UFA."
That likely won't sit well with Islanders' fans, whoever fan bases around the National Hockey League will likely be salivating at the prospect of the their organizations acquiring a superstar center like Tavares. Dreger believes that the scrutiny surrounding the Islanders captain and his future is about to nuclear.
"I think the heat is gonna get turned up here on Tavares."
If it becomes clear to the Islanders that Tavares will not sign before the end of the season, could they pull the trigger on a trade despite their strong performance this season?