The Islanders held a press conference to announce Tavares' six-year, $33-million extension and the 20-year-old was able to tell the whole hockey world that he's committed to the Islanders.
"I believe in this organization, and this hockey club," Tavares said. "This is where I want to live, to play and, ultimately, to lead the team to the Stanley Cup."
GM Garth Snow said he began contract talks with Pat Brisson, Tavares' agent, in July, with Tavares' entry-level deal expiring next summer. "We were pretty close right from the start," Tavares said. "So it was good to get it done quickly and not have it hanging over training camp or the start of the season."
For the Islanders, perhaps this signing can be the one that lays to rest the thought that no one wants to come and play here. "That's not for me to comment on," Snow said. "But whether it's a player or a staff member, the people that come here end up falling in love with it here."
Tavares said he wasn't concerned with signing a deal that will take him through 2017-18, three seasons beyond when the team's lease on Nassau Coliseum runs out. With no new arena plan as of now, the Islanders could be elsewhere when Tavares' contract expires.
"Getting to know Charles (Wang), I know he's wanted to keep the team here, and I believe we'll be here," Tavares said. "That's not something for me to speculate on. I never really worried about whether the team would be here. They've made a big commitment to me and (the arena) is something that's not in my control."