John Tavares doesn’t have ‘any reason to leave’ the Islanders when his contract expires in 2018

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John Tavares is happy being a member of the New York Islanders. He’s so happy that he’s talking about staying with the team beyond 2017-18 (when he can become a free agent).

“I don’t really have any reason to leave and I think we have a great makeup and a team that can do something special this year,” Tavares said in an exclusive interview with Newsday.

“The opportunity they’ve given me, I would love to see it all the way through and win a Stanley Cup. It’s rare to see players stay in one place their whole career. There’s obviously still a lot of time, but Long Island is where I enjoy playing, I love being the captain there and they’ve treated me so well.”

Every off-season, it seems like there’s some kind of free agent frenzy going on. Throughout last season, all the talk was about how Lightning forward Steven Stamkos was going to hit the market. In the end, Stamkos stayed put and it sounds like Tavares will follow in his footsteps.

The fact that the Islanders have a new (and committed) ownership group certainly helps the chances of Tavares signing an extension before July 1st, 2018.

“I know how excited [Ledecky and Malkin] are, I know they’ve expressed their commitment, their desire to win a Stanley Cup and they want to do everything they can to make that happen. Anytime you see that type of commitment from the top it goes a long way, all the way down to the players.”

Even though Kyle Okposo, Matt Martin and Frans Nielsen left in free agency, the Isles have locked up enough of their core to keep them competitive. They also added Andrew Ladd, Jason Chimera and P.A. Parenteau this off-season.