The Islanders gathered at Northwell Health Ice Center today to pack their gear and get ready for an offseason that’s longer than they would like. Needless to say, everyone’s disappointed and proud they stuck together and loves each other and everything.
"Overall as a team it's disappointing not making playoffs," John Tavares said. "It's a great group in there. They fought right until the end and gave everything they've got to win the last six to give ourselves the best chance possible. Everyone always believed and had the commitment in that locker room. It's just disappointing with the start we had."
The full archive is here and a write-up is here, but we’ll spotlight a few videos. Here’s Andrew Ladd talking about fitting in with his new team and trying to dig out from a bad start (both for him and the Islanders).
Here’s Jaroslav Halak talking about his weird year, which is kinda putting it mildly. He still loves the guys.
And concise Calvin de Haan speaks for all of us when he says, “It sucks.”
But the man of the hour was obviously the captain, who had to clear out his locker - and talk about his contract extension - with his bum hamstring. He stood in front of the media for a team-high 12 minutes and answered everything with the same calm demeanor he always has.
Did Barclays ice caused Tavares' hamstring injury? "I dont think you'll ever really know. But once I dug my heel in is when I felt the pop."— Kevin Maher (@KMaherNews12) April 10, 2017
He didn’t explicitly state that the Barclays Center ice played a role in his season-ending injury, but said his first priority is getting healthy before tackling those complex contract conversations. He sounds like he’s politely trying to give management and ownership as much room as they need to prepare, which is totally what a John Tavares-type would do despite having almost all of the leverage in this situation.
Tavares said he doesn't expect the uncertainty to play a role in whether or not he re-signs with the Islanders.
"Not necessarily," he said. "I think for me at the end of the day, I want to win a Stanley Cup. I think everyone here is absolutely committed to doing that. Hopefully we can work something out and I'm here.
"It's a lot more complicated process than probably people realize. I haven't even really gone through it yet, so I think just looking at a lot of situations that have kind of come over the last couple of years, I think not only from my side but from the team side, just with the management of the cap and obviously the financial side of it, kind of those details that come into it in the negotiation process … obviously you want to enjoy where you're playing and where you're living. But I've always stated that I've always enjoyed those things and I've always been treated really well here. There's no doubt about that for me, so hopefully we can get something done."
(In case anyone was wondering, he’s wearing a cap from Sebonack Golf Club, the South Hampton, Long Island-based course co-designed by Jack Nicklaus. That’s gotta be a good sign)
Today was all about the players. Tomorrow there might be more, but no guarantees.