Islanders fans holding out that John Tavares will re-sign with the club got another glimmer of hope on Thursday. TSN’s Darren Dreger reported that Tavares and his camp were focused on an extension with the Islanders.
The hockey insider also reported that the Islanders president of hockey operations and general manager Lou Lamoriello had been in daily contact with Tavares for the past two weeks.
The news is welcomed by Islanders fans, who have spent the past year trying to decipher whether or not the team’s star player and captain would remain with the franchise. Tavares had been rather vague about which way he was leaning during the season and during the team’s locker clean out day in April.
The chances that Tavares would stay had been becoming less and less certain prior to the hiring of Lamoriello last month, and Thursday’s report appears to indicate that the Islanders fortunes could be turning.
It had never been in doubt that Tavares would cash in on his next contract, but there had been uncertainty whether Tavares still believed in the direction the Islanders were headed in. But the Islanders have gone through several massive changes in recent weeks, with the installation of Lamoriello as the final decision maker in the hockey ops department and the firing of longtime GM Garth Snow and head coach Doug Weight on June 5.
The Islanders also parted ways with assistant coach Greg Cronin on Thursday. Cronin had been the lone holdover from former head coach Jack Capuano’s staff.
The Islanders are expected to install a new head coach prior to the beginning of free agency on July 1.