Looks as though the New York Islanders have found a replacement for ex-captain Mark Streit — and, to nobody’s surprise, that person will be John Tavares.
That’s the word out of Long Island on Tuesday — Newsday’s Arthur Staple reports the Isles are set to name Tavares as the 14th captain in franchise history at some point next week.
Tavares, 22, led the Isles with 47 points in 48 games last season and earned his first-ever Hart Trophy nomination for league MVP.
He’s the club’s most talented player and the face of the franchise, so no real surprise the organization feels he’s ready to wear the “C.” Tavares also signed a long-term pact with the Isles in 2011, agreeing to a six-year, $33 million extension that goes through 2018.
The move to such a young captain is a significant one from New York. Streit was 34 at the time of his appointment; prior to him it was 38-year-old Doug Weight and prior to Weight, it was 37-year-old Bill Guerin.
Tavares had previously served as an alternate captain behind Streit — now in Philadelphia — along with fellow forward Kyle Okposo.
No. 91’s promotion to the full captaincy means New York will need to find another person to wear an “A,” and candidates could include veteran defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky or the club’s longest-tenured player, forward Frans Nielsen.