As Islanders fans anxiously await to hear whether or not beloved captain John Tavares will sign a contract extension, we have constantly heard about all of the factors that may play into this incredibly important decision. We’ve all heard that the move to Belmont will impact his decision in a positive way, but what hasn’t been talked about as much is the importance that emerging rookie Mathew Barzal has on this decision.
Mathew Barzal has been the surprise story of the season, as he currently leads all rookies with 47 points, seven ahead of Brock Boeser who is in second. While Barzal has become a fan favorite and gotten attention around the league, there is someone else who loves him just as much as we do: John Tavares.
What many Isles fans often forget to talk about is the fact that all else aside, John Tavares wants to win the Stanley Cup. What he is paying attention to with this team is whether or not he feels he can do that here. With the emergence of Mathew Barzal, it certainly helps the case.
The Islanders have a solid young core, filled with names such as Joshua Ho-Sang, Adam Pelech, Scott Mayfield, Kieffer Bellows, Devon Toews and Sebastian Aho. Getting Russian superstar goaltender Ilya Sorokin to come over to the United States would help even more. These names along with Mathew Barzal could lead to us seeing something very special from the New York Islanders in the coming years. When John Tavares looks at that list of players, along with the talented veteran presence that is currently on the roster in Anders Lee, Josh Bailey, Jordan Eberle, Johnny Boychuk, Andrew Ladd, Nick Leddy and so on, he should be very excited about what the future holds for the Islanders. Given the Islanders future, both talent wise and geographically, fans should be feeling relatively optimistic about the decision of pending UFA John Tavares.