EAST MEADOW, N.Y. – Doug Weight was coy when he was asked if there was any update on John Tavares, the Islanders best player who is about to enter the final year of his contract.
“Uh John who,” Weight responded jokingly when asked by a reporter if there was any news with Tavares. The Islanders captain is eligible to sign a contract extension beginning on July 1, but his camp has been mum regarding Tavares’ plans for the future.
The topic has been at the forefront of minds across the NHL since the Islanders season ended on April 9. Weight tried to downplay the situation on Tuesday.
“John’s fine. I’m avoiding your questions,” Weight said. “There’s nothing to update, but there’s nothing to worry about. I mean we’re focused to win next year and he’s a big part of it.”
Newsday reported last week that Tavares “feels more confident in the direction the Islanders are headed” and could wait to sign an extension. Sportsnet’s Elliot Friedman also suggested that Tavares might not re-sign on July 1 during an appearance on Sportsnet 590 on Monday.
Tavares has repeatedly said that he wants to remain a member of the Islanders organization and that he hopes a deal can be worked out. However the team has several issues to work out, including solidifying a permanent home arena for the franchise.