With the Free Agent Frenzy just days away, it marks just about 365 days since the first question about a certain Islander was uttered:
Where will John Tavares wind up on July 1, 2018?
Egad-What-A-Cad. (And I don’t mean John either).
The F-A Madness is just around the calendar with the chief protagonist none other than Sir John, Himself.
And he ain’t talking.
By actual Maven count, it would take approximately 1,000 crystal balls, 999 fortune tellers and 998 Ouija Boards to determine whether Tavares will remain partners with the Scott Malkin–Jon Ledecky-Islanders ownership.
Or, to our dismay, sail into the sunset wherever his destination may be.
Let’s face it; in the past year media geniuses on both sides of the 49th parallel — not to mention more than a few in Europe — have been opining about the most talked-about Islander since, well, how about Denis Potvin.
To his credit, Tavares has hermetically sealed his intentions other than delivering cheery homilies about:
1. How dedicated he has been to the Islanders. (All true.)
2. How much he likes his teammates. (All true.)
3. How impressed he is with plans for a new Belmont Arena. (All true.)
Those of us who have worked with Tavares on MSG Networks telecasts invariably have been impressed with his sincerity, honesty and dedication.
I remember feeling that way last September at the Northwell training base after MSG Networks’ Shannon Hogan interviewed John.
Ditto, after I interviewed him during the Islanders’ Captains Golf Tourney at Southampton.
Over and over throughout 2017-18, we grasped at phrases, sentences and paragraphs that would offer some clue as to what’s new. But the surplus of hints in columns, blogs, social media — you name it — have proven; eh!
Surely, the Islanders’ high command has done everything that could be done to persuade Johnny T that his next contract should be with his current team. The basket of goodies — topped by the signing of Lou Lamoriello — is full.
What’s my point about Tavares remaining an Islander?
Very simple; nobody but John and his agent really know.
But, as NHL melodramas go, this one hits the top of the Anxiety Meter!
(Where’s Sherlock Holmes when we really need him?)