Understatement 1: the 2016-17 season was rough for the New York Islanders. Understatement 2: John Tavares‘ future is a pretty big deal, to Islanders and hockey fans alike. If Tavares is growing impatient with the Islanders’ process, then 2017-18 stands as potentially integral in keeping him around.
When an NHL insider puts forth an outlandish notion, it’s usually born from one of two places: Their own attention-seeking imagination, or from a seed planted by someone else, perhaps during an informal chat or a over beer in Toronto. Craig Button is an NHL insider for TSN, and recently proffered a whopper: What if New York Islanders star John Tavares hit unrestricted free agency, opted not to sign a long-term deal with anyone and instead went home to Ontario on a one-year deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs in an all-in attempt to win a Stanley Cup before the Leafs salary cap blows up? Button’s theory is that the Leafs could make this happen with Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner still on their entry-level deals.
Last season the Rangers had a group of four alternate captains including Marc Staal, Rick Nash, Derek Stepan and Dan Girardi. After moving Stepan and Girardi the Rangers could have two potential openings for players to wear letters on the front of their jerseys. Since Ryan McDonagh became captain in 2014-15, the Rangers alternate captains have been: 14-15: Stepan, Marty St. Louis, Staal and Girardi 15-16: Stepan, Staal and Girardi 16-17: Stepan, Staal, Girardi and Rick Nash Alain Vigneault told Dan Rosen of NHL.com that he and his staff will see who wants to do more on the ice and off the ice, "who wants to expand his role as far as leadership and example and influence?" (NHL.com) Adam Rotter: