The following is a collection of unedited feedback we received from Islander Country following Wednesday's announcement. We weren't able to include everyone who wrote in but thank you to all who submitted your story.

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Today is a day filled with mixed emotions.  While our loyal fan base will always remember that Nassau Coliseum was our home for over 40 years, we all know that the building has come to serve as a microcosm of Nassau County's political, provincial, and short-sighted agenda.  Beginning in the 2015-16 season, players, fans, and management will no longer be ridiculed that their arena should be called the "Mausoleum."  There will be no more cloud of uncertainty as to "Where will we play?", no more Coliseum invasions by jilted Quebec Nordiques' fans, and no more concerns that our future is in the hands of NIFA, Kate Murray, Wayne Wink, and others.  I will not miss the facilities at the Coliseum, nor should anyone.  I will, however, miss the convenience of the short car ride to Uniondale and back, the car horns honking the "Let's Go Islanders!" chant, and the passion and roar of the crowd during those fleeting moments of success over the past 20 years.  This is a new start.  It is a new opportunity.  Today, we continue to keep the Drive for Five Alive.  Here's to the future success of the Islanders.  Your resilient fans are behind you.
- Jacob R.
I have mixed opinions. On one point ill miss the 5 minute commute to a game. On the other hand I'm happy the arena situation is done with and I can go back to enjoying the Islanders knowing they will be staying in New York. There is no excuse for not bringing in free agents and spending above the floor. We have the building blocks to be succesful again and now the arena will not be an excuse anymore.

- Brett C.

As a Suffolk County resident, it will undoubtedly be a touch less convenient to attend games. Instead of a 35-40 minute car ride, it's an hour plus investment via the LIRR. But you know where it would have bee a lot more inconvenient to get to games? Quebec. Or Seattle. Or Kansas City.

I've seen some members of the media presenting this as a Nassau vs. Brooklyn thing. Sophisticated fans know that's a false choice. It was never between Nassau and Brooklyn. It was always Brooklyn or bust, and bust was an out-of-state relocation.
So to know that I will be able to raise my kids on New York Islanders hockey for at least the next 28 years? That's priceless to me. And the knowledge that this franchise will now benefit from the full exposure of the New York City market, play in a state-of-the-art facility, and become infinitely more attractive to impending free agents? Well, that's all the better.
I truly believe this will be a day we'll all remember as we watch JT hoist the Cup over his head on a float going down Atlantic Avenue.
- Brian E.
I could not be happier with this move. As an Islanders fan who has since moved from NY, it will be great to be able to get back to Brooklyn to see the Islanders in a state of the art building and I have no doubt that the residents of Brooklyn will embrace this team. I could not be happier for my father, who was lucky enough to have experienced the dynasty years. I cannot imagine what he would have done if the Islanders have left New York. Is this situation perfect? No, but it is far better than our current situation and infinately better then KC, Quebec etc…Thank you Charles Wang and GO ISLANDERS!
- Jonathan M.
Huge fan of the blog since the Botta days.  Love what you're doing over there.  I'm 24... been watching the Isles since I was 2.  I live in Suffolk.  It's a sad day that they are moving for sure, but for the first time in a long time, they finally have some clarity and direction with the future base of the franchise, and that excites me the most.  No more having to hear rumors of them leaving the area and going to Canada, or KC or Seattle.  Now they have a sticking point and a sales pitch.  They move to a great arena, and bring a whole new sector of fanbase into the equation, and they become a hugely attractive place to play for players around the league.  I think the positives of the move for the future stability of the organization out-way the negatives.  Thanks for letting me give my input, and Go Isles!
- James H.
I don't know how to feel. As a 19 year old, I have no memories from the 80s or 90s but of the 2000s. The Coliseum was old and decrepit but loud and beautiful. I could sit in 315 or 112 and enjoy the same high quality views, sometimes 315 was better for the experience. But the writing was on the wall and it's better Brooklyn than anywhere else so credit goes to Wang. I will miss the Old Barn as much as anyone but I look forward to a fresh start in the best arena in the city. 
PS Memo to Markowitz- "The Stanley Cup is not in New York. It's on Long Island"-Billy Smith
- Christian A.
I have mixed emotions about the move but at the end of the day it is really exciting. I currently live in Nassau but will be moving to Western Suffolk so the commute will not be ideal, but you can't commute at all to Kansas City, Seattle or Quebec. I think the players and us fans deserve better and now we are going to get it. While not in our backyards anymore they will still be the New York Islanders and I will continue to cheer for this team until the day I die.
- Daniel L.

As a resident of Nassau County, I am upset about the hole this will blow in the Nassau County's tax revenue. I wonder what fees County Executive Mangano will raise (if he is still in office) so he can continue to say that he did not raise property taxes?

As an Islanders fan, I am sad that they are leaving their historical home. I have had half or full season tickets for the last 5 years. There is no way I will continue to do that when they are in Brooklyn. It will be a weekend plan at best starting in 2015-2016. Though, it will be nice to go to a building that is not as old as I am.

- Brian from Massapequa
As a former resident of Nassau County who grew up 15 minutes from the Coliseum during the glory years I admit there there is a part of me that is sorry to see the Isles leave.  For my generation they helped to forge an identity for Long Island when they won the cups.  However given the franchise's trajectory and the inept/corrupt political scene on Long Island (and Hempstead in particular), the move to Brooklyn is the best thing that could happen to the Isles.  The team moves into first class facilities, the potential fanbase goes up astronomically, and they become a magnet for free agents with their solid core of young talent.  I no longer live in the area so I won't comment on getting to the arena, but it's always more exciting to watch a game with people actually in the seats.  
Thanks to Charles Wang for putting up with the mess he bought into, and for keeping the team in the area.  Now its time to build a team that contends for the cup on an annual basis, and makes the Rag$ look like the pathetic franchise that they truly are.
- Tim from St. Paul, MN
I'm thrilled! As a longtime season ticketholder who has been schlepping from Brooklyn on the LIRR for years, This is great pwrsonally. But more importantly, it's a great move for the team.  It keeps the team on Long Island - remember that Brooklyn and Queens are part of Long Island.
- Faye from Brooklyn

As a lifelong fan who grew up in Bethpage off of Hemp. Tpke, played travel hockey and even got to play a few HS games at the Coliseum and who currently lives in Manhattan I could not be happier about this move.

It is sad that it is now official that Nassau will never be home to the Isles again but we knew that the dream was dead when the referendum failed. This is the only way the Isles would stay in the area and hey we still get to say we're on Long Island.

Living and working in Manhattan I only got to 3-5 games a year, now I plan on buying season tickets so this is nothing but the best outcome for me personally.Big Picture this is will make the Isles relevant again, with the cache that comes from playing in Brooklyn, the prospects of young talented Isles team in a sparkling new arena, I mean the sky is the limit to how far this will take them in terms of new fans an being recognized as a true NY team.

I am sad the coliseum will be torn down and Kate Murray will look to build a Target and maybe the Source II and the loss this will all have on the local economy, but Nassau has no one else to blame than themselves.

Wang is no angel but I thank him for keeping the NY ISLANDERS alive and well!!

- Mike C.
Had season tix personally over a decade, old man had them before me since the mid '70's.  Ecstatic the team is staying in NY, hate losing the island/suburb identity.  Hate becoming the big money corporate sports entity even though we all know its the only way the team survives.  Hate even more that I must give up my tix, moreso for my kids who have become big fans over the last 5 or so years.  I hate that when I was 12 I was celebrating a cup win on Hempstead tpke., and my son at 12 will be watching as the old barn is falling apart, knowing that there are only 3 yrs left til "our" team becomes less personal.  What was a 4 1/2 hour night coming from suffolk just turned into a 7 hour night, and we all know prices are going up, let alone the train costs.  Good for team, crappy for those of us who have stuck with it for so long will no longer be able to attend.
- J.C.

As a former season ticket holder (from New Jersey) and Islander fan since 1975, this is a great move.  But I'm being selfish.  The presence of mass transit makes this a great buy, especially during the week and most especially if you work in Manhattan. 

Let me take this opportunity to address how and why (in my opinion) the Islanders' attendance has eroded over the last 25 years. It's not just the mediocre or bad teams. It's the move from 8:00pm weeknight starts to 7:00.  Commentators forget how many Islanders' fans work in "the city" and must contend with the LIE going eastbound at rush hour.  I remember seeing fans routinely arrive at weeknight games during the second period!  Prior management played to its "fan base" and I guess that works...if you work in Jericho and live in Merrick. Many other longtime fans felt the inconvenience, and guess what? Over the years, they stayed away. They've had no shortage of reasons.

The move to Brooklyn will immediately make the Islanders "major league" in the eyes of the overall metropolitan area media, in the exact same way the Nets' move to Brooklyn and even the Devils' move to Newark changed how they were perceived almost from the date their moves were announced.  The Islanders are not covered by any of the big three city dailies, and in a move reminiscent of minor-league teams, rely on a college radio station for their game broadcasts. They will get more fans, more advertisers, more sponsors, and they will sign up quickly in advance of the actual move.  It's a win-win for the franchise, the NHL and for fans living west of the Queens/Nassau border.

On the other hand, Suffolk County fans will essentially lose their team.  This is a 30-to-45-minute move west, even in the best of circumstances.  For them, this will be almost as bad as the Jets moving from Shea Stadium to Giants Stadium.

Now, if we can only get a real coach...

- Eric D.
It's a bittersweet feeling; 20% bitter, 80% sweet. The Islanders I know are Long Island's team. They play, not necessarily at the Coliseum, but in the heart of Long Island. As a fan since 1992, when I was 7-years-old, their woes have helped ingrain the Islanders, in my mind, as our little secret. Hockey fans, as a whole, are a bit of a secret society in the States. The Islanders, due in part to their storied history, their arena, their woes, and their geography gave Long Islanders an underdog status the face of bigger, more popular destinations and teams in the area. It's an underdog status that helps build an identity, and our identity as Long Islanders included the New York Islanders. It remains to be seen how much of that will be lost. Still it is bitter to hear Mayor Bloomberg speak of a celebration down the Canyon of Heroes and not Hempstead Turnpike. It's bitter to hear Marty Markowitz speak of the Islanders as if they are Brooklyn's own  as if it were an expansion team. Brooklyn may be only twenty or so miles away geographically, but our New York Islanders are now lightyears closer to the heartbeat of the world. Our secret... it's out.
 
Yet it's sweet, so sweet, to hear of talk of a celebration in New York at all. And it's wonderful to hear about how the impact of more fans, more corporate sponsorships and above all, certainty will positively impact this franchise. It is sweet to know that positive impact will be effected close to its original home. It's easy for people to get bogged down in fantasy, such as plight to keep the team in Nassau County or relocate to a barren Suffolk. As Islander fans, as Long Islanders, reality has become all too real a spectre in the last 10 years, a negative reality.  This new reality, one of a propsperous and certain future for our beloved team, and for it to remain ours, is the best news we could have hoped for.
- Josh J.
Good for Wang and the organization, the Nassau County is a mismanaged entity and has zero business sense. Glad I left that hole 13 years ago. Great people, disgusting politicians. Hope the taxpayers enjoy their Molly Hatchett and Zebra concerts.
- Tom
 

I have some conflicting feelings about the Islanders move to Brooklyn.

On the one hand, I'm thrilled/relieved that the team has finally extricated itself from "The Old Barn", an arena everyone loathed and the owner couldn't make any money from.  Charles Wang has (presumably) moved himself into a situation where he can actually turn a profit from hockey operation, a propsect that should encourage him to invest more money into his team.  That's the Islanders fans' hope: with a new home, Charles Wang opens his wallet once again and lets Garth Snow sign some premier free agents.  From a competitive standpoint, the Islanders' future appears brighter than it's been in years (maybe even decades).

At the same time, though, I must confess to being dejected over the fact that Long Island is losing its only professional sports team.  I grew up on Long Island.  I have spent nearly all of my 43 years living on Long Island.  I plan on dying on Long Island.  The fact that the Islanders' address will soon have a New York City zip code depresses me.  So much more so because I won't be able to remain a full season ticket holder.  I live east of Port Jefferson.  Getting to the Nassau Coliseum was enough of a hike as it is.  To get to Brooklyn from where I live, I need to spend two hours on the Long Island Rail Road.  That makes remaining a full season ticket holder is out of the question for me.  I'll have to look into buying a weekend game package.  It's not the same thing as being a full season ticket holder though.  Other subscribers will know what I'm talking about when I say it's a point of pride to have tickets to an ENTIRE season worth of games.  (And let's not forget that Islanders season tickets are VERY affordable.  I fear how expensive they might become in Brooklyn.)

But in the end, I have to understand that Jay Jacobs and Kate Murray made it impossible for the Islanders to remain in Nassau County, and I am comforted by the fact that Charles Wang kept the team in the vicinity.  He didn't move them to Seattle or Quebec City or Hamilton.  He kept them within a two hour train ride from my house.  I'll manage it.  The commute will be tolerable for a winning team.

Let's Go Islanders!

- Keith D.
I'm thrilled!  Nassau County, and Hempstead in particular no longer deserve a major league franchise. They have tried to drive the Islanders away and now they have succeeded. Kate Murray can enjoy her weed-filled lot in Uniondale while I watch the Isles on TV Like so many other things in Nassau County, I grew up there, but I left for better living and opportunities in Nevada.

I think I'm a Nets fan now!  (I'm in the Kings DMA).

- John K.
I've been an Islander fan all my life, and am ecstatic to learn that my nightmares of this team moving to Kansas City or Quebec City will never be realized. At the same time, I'll be leaving for college next year, and am not effected by the team moving from a few minute drive to a marginally more expensive and lengthy time-wise train ride. I'm sadden that younger friends and family of mine won't be able to as easily take advantage of student seating that was more than affordable to me and several friends for more than half of home games. What troubles me is the ever fleeting reasons to remain in Nassau County. Aside from my family residing here and my favorite team playing only a few minutes away, there is little reason for me to return to the Town of Hempstead. Why should I stay here when I could live in Brooklyn or even Manhattan and have quicker access to the city and just as fast (if not faster) transportation to the Barclay's Center? I'm more than sure my parents will move out of their overly-priced neighborhood with the Islanders gone once I venture off into life. I also worry for local businesses around the Uniondale area, and how much they will suffer without generating revenue that surrounds the team. A small part of me does feel satisfied that this should lead to a slight decrease in tax revenue for the town; a last little "FU" to Kate Murray as Charles and Garth hop onto the LIRR and get as far away from her and Mangano as possible. 
- Ethan T.
For me, today can only be described as bittersweet.

Bitter because the Isles will no longer truly be Long Island's team; bitter because it illustrates in stark relief the truly dysfunctional nature of Nassau politics; bitter because in just a few more years, the old barn where I saw my first hockey game, fell in love with the team, and got to know like the back of my hand, will see hockey no more; bitter because all of the memories made there can never truly be relocated to a new arena...

But, it is also very sweet.  Sweet because we know our beloved team will stay (somewhat) local; sweet because we will finally have a new arena; sweet because now our owner and general manager have no excuses when it comes to signing free agents (other than a general unwillingness to spend); and sweet because the years full of "what ifs?" and "what will happen?" are finally over.

But when all is said and done, all I--all anyone--should really say is this:  LET'S GO ISLANDERS!

- Chris M.

Tags: Arena News, Islanders

 (Christopher Katsarov)
(Christopher Katsarov)

The Islanders have announced that they have resigned defenseman Kyle Burroughs and Devon Toews. Both were restricted free agents and spent time with AHL affiliate, Bridgeport Sound Tigers. 

Burroughs was a seventh round pick for the Islanders back in 2013. He has now spent three seasons in Bridgeport, posting a career high 25 points and a plus-minus of +16. 

Toews has spent the past two season in Bridgeport but missed the second half of the season after having a shoulder injury in January. Toews, 24, played for Quinnipiac University for three years before heading to Bridgeport. The former fourth round pick had five goals and forty assists in his first season in the AHL. 

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Now that "John Tavares" has "written" his farewell to the Islanders for The Players Tribune, here are some final Point Blank thoughts on the whole ordeal:

Tavares' piece was what you'd expect: an attempt to explain himself and thank Islander fans. The timing of its publishing was flawed; the piece posted just as the pain and anger in Islanders Country had subsided. Getting his message across by July 2 would have been more effective and heartfelt. But hey, I know how tough it is to write on deadline.

Still, it's clear from reading the piece that Tavares was very aware of the reaction of his departure, and cares what people think about him. There's nothing bad about that.

Tags: John Tavares, Chris Botta
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New York Islanders center John Tavares skates against the New Jersey Devils during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 31, 2018, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Islanders center John Tavares skates against the New Jersey Devils during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 31, 2018, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

John Tavares thanked Islanders fans and reflected on his time with the team via a Players' Tribune letter published on Wednesday.

The former Islanders' team captain described a breakdown-like situation he endured when he was forced to choose whether to sign with the Maple Leafs or remain with the Islanders -- a decision he said he "just literally, physically could not" make.

Tavares, who turned down an eight-year deal with the Islanders in favor of a contract with the Maple Leafs, said he wrote the letter because of his "real, honest, still-there love for the New York Islanders hockey franchise."

Tags: John Tavares
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Toronto Maple Leafs NHL hockey general manager Lou Lamoriello speaks to reporters in Toronto, Friday, April 27, 2018. The Boston Bruins defeated the Maple Leafs in the first round of the playoffs. (Cole Burston/The Canadian Press via AP) (COLE BURSTON/AP)
Toronto Maple Leafs NHL hockey general manager Lou Lamoriello speaks to reporters in Toronto, Friday, April 27, 2018. The Boston Bruins defeated the Maple Leafs in the first round of the playoffs. (Cole Burston/The Canadian Press via AP) (COLE BURSTON/AP)

Face it: if Garth Snow had made all of the player personnel moves that Lou Lamoriello has so far as Islanders GM, there would be a march on Eisenhower Park.

In the excitement over the removal of the embarrassing regime of Snow and installation of Lamoriello as leader of hockey operations, somewhere along the line it seems people believe the legendary ex-Devils architect is untouchable.

Since the painful exit of John Tavares, there has been a lot of puffed-out chests and declarations of Hey, Screw Tavares -- We've Got Lou and We Can't Go Wrong...

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Feb 23, 2018; Gangneung, South Korea; Czech Republic forward Jan Kovar (43) goes for the puck against Olympic Athlete from Russia goaltender Vasili Koshechkin (83) in the men's ice hockey semifinals during the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games at Gangneung Hockey Centre. Mandatory Credit: David E. Klutho-USA TODAY Sports (David E. Klutho)
Feb 23, 2018; Gangneung, South Korea; Czech Republic forward Jan Kovar (43) goes for the puck against Olympic Athlete from Russia goaltender Vasili Koshechkin (83) in the men's ice hockey semifinals during the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games at Gangneung Hockey Centre. Mandatory Credit: David E. Klutho-USA TODAY Sports (David E. Klutho)

The Islanders are continuing to bolster their roster for the upcoming season with C Jan Kovar inking a one-year, $2 million deal. 

The 28-year-old played for the KHL's Magnitogorsk Metallurg since 2013, where he has totaled 286 points (97 goals, 189 assists) over 285 games. Last season, he notched seven goals and 28 assists over 54 games. 

Kovar has also represented the Czech Republic in five World Championship, including the 2017 Winter Olympics. Overall, he has six goals and 13 assists in 42 international games. 

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Mathew Barzal (13) Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)
Mathew Barzal (13) Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)

After winning the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL's top rookie, 21-year-old Islanders forward Mathew Barzal can be the new face of the franchise with John Tavares out of the picture.

"He's a driven, driven guy to be the best player he can be," Russ Farwell, the VP of hockey operation for Barzal's junior hockey team, the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL, told Newsday's Andrew Gross. "He's totally focused on his game. He's a very confident guy, too. He was a really highly touted minor player, so being the show or being the guy wasn't foreign to him. His whole life, everybody has pointed to him."

Tags: John Tavares, Mathew Barzal
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Jan 22, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Lou Lamoriello and New Yor Yankees general manager Brian Cashman watch the Toronto Raptors play against the Phoenix Suns at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)
Jan 22, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Lou Lamoriello and New Yor Yankees general manager Brian Cashman watch the Toronto Raptors play against the Phoenix Suns at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)

Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello has nothing but respect for John Tavares after the former team captain opted to sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

"In my dealings with John, he proved himself to be a sincere, honest young man," Lamoriello told NHL.com. "He earned the right to test free agency, and that's what he did.

Tavares totaled 621 points in 669 games with the Islanders since he was drafted in 2009. 

Tags: John Tavares
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May 23, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; Washington Capitals head coach Berry Trotz talks with media after game seven of the Eastern Conference Final in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
May 23, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; Washington Capitals head coach Berry Trotz talks with media after game seven of the Eastern Conference Final in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

It's a time for genuine optimism around the Islanders despite captain John Tavares signing with the Toronto Maple Leafs on a seven-year deal with an average annual value of $11 million.

The team hired a new GM and president of hockey operations, Hall of Famer Lou Lamoriello then hired reigning Stanley Cup champion head coach Barry Trotz. The team is rife with young talent, including Calder Trophy-winning Mathew Barzal, and will continue to take steps forward, even without Tavares.

"I know it's a big blow and everyone has the sky falling, but we're a young team," Trotz said...

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New York Islanders left wing Brock Nelson (Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders left wing Brock Nelson (Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports)

Islanders F Brock Nelson has filed for arbitration, as the NHLPA announces the league-wide list. His qualifying offer is $3.5 million.

Nelson, 26, had 35 points (19 goals, 16 assists) last season. He was a first-round pick (30th overall) in 2010. He's scored at least 14 goals in each of his five professional seasons and has missed just two games in the last four years. 

He has the highest qualifying offer among the five Islanders. 

Qualifying offers are issued to restricted free agents whose team wishes to retain their negotiation rights.

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Mar 29, 2018; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres goaltender Robin Lehner (40) looks to make a save during the first period against the Detroit Red Wings at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports (Timothy T. Ludwig)
Mar 29, 2018; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres goaltender Robin Lehner (40) looks to make a save during the first period against the Detroit Red Wings at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports (Timothy T. Ludwig)

After most of the free agent goaltenders had come off the free agent board (Carter Hutton, Jonathan Bernier, Petr Mrazek, among others), the name of Robin Lehner stood out as the best available one for the Islanders to sign on a low-risk, one-year deal. On Tuesday, Erik Karlsson was all the rage and then the Islanders traded for prodigal son Matt Martin, so my plans to write about Lehner got put on the back burner.

When the Islanders signed him on Tuesday afternoon, I laughed out loud…and liked the move even more.

With the Islanders having so many tough, fearless, edgy fourth-line forwards in the fold, why not add the equivalent in goal? The Islanders may not be the most skilled team next season, but you can't blame Lou Lamoriello for "making it look mean."

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Feb 28, 2018; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) during the third period against Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Jean-Yves Ahern)
Feb 28, 2018; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) during the third period against Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports (Jean-Yves Ahern)

Islanders GM and president Lou Lamoriello saw franchise player John Tavares walk out the door last week, but says the Isles did everything in their power to prevent it.

"We did everything we possibly could to keep John," Lamoriello said Thursday on Sirius XM NHL radio. "He's a quality player. He's now with another team. That's the past."

Tavares bolted the Isles for his hometown Maple Leafs, while also passing on joining the Sharks, Bruins, and others. And with Tavares gone, the Isles should be on a three-year plan as they prepare for their new arena, says SNY contributor Chris Botta...

Tags: John Tavares
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Sep 17, 2017; Uniondale, NY, USA; General view of the ice before a game between the New York Islanders and the Philadelphia Flyers at NYCB Live at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 17, 2017; Uniondale, NY, USA; General view of the ice before a game between the New York Islanders and the Philadelphia Flyers at NYCB Live at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Islanders now have two former Capitals coaches on their staff for next season.

The team announced Lane Lambert will reunite with head coach Barry Trotz as an associate coach on his staff.

Lambert held the very same role under Trotz last season during the Capitals' Stanely Cup run. He spent four seasons with Washington after coaching three seasons with the Predators as an assistant. 

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Jan 22, 2018; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs left wing Matt Martin (15) shoots the puck against the Colorado Avalanche at Air Canada Centre. The Avalanche beat the Maple Leafs 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)
Jan 22, 2018; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs left wing Matt Martin (15) shoots the puck against the Colorado Avalanche at Air Canada Centre. The Avalanche beat the Maple Leafs 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)

The acquisition of Matt Martin makes little sense, and -- on the heels of Lou Lamoriello's free agent signings so far -- raises more concerns about the plans of new management. 

I love it.

Welcome back, Matt.

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Mar 24, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark (35) warms up after replacing starter Robin Lehner (40) during the second period against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)
Mar 24, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark (35) warms up after replacing starter Robin Lehner (40) during the second period against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)

The Islanders agreed to terms on Tuesday with goaltender Robin Lehner on a one-year contract.

Lehner had a .908 save percentage and 3.01 goals-against average in 53 games last season with the Sabres.

Lehner, who is from Sweden, was drafted in the second round of the 2009 draft.

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Mar 8, 2018; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson (65) skates with the puck in the third period against the Buffalo Sabres at Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY (Marc DesRosiers)
Mar 8, 2018; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson (65) skates with the puck in the third period against the Buffalo Sabres at Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY (Marc DesRosiers)

After the gut-punch of the loss of John Tavares on Sunday, anyone could understand the desire to rebound. Who among us hasn't been dumped, only to dream of bouncing back with someone just as dazzling?

Otherwise, count me in the minority when it comes to clamoring for the Islanders to make a trade for Erik Karlsson. The Islanders will inquire, and would be right to investigate, but it is not the right move at this time for the club. The reasons...

The Price

Tags: John Tavares, Josh Ho-Sang, Chris Botta
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Matt Martin (15) Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)
Matt Martin (15) Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)

Forward Matt Martin is returning to Long Island. 

The Islanders made a deal with the Maple Leafs to send G Eamon McAdam in return for Martin, who they drafted in the fifth round back in 2008. In the deal, the Islanders are taking on Martin's $2.5 million he is owed this season and the 2019-2020 season as well.

Martin played seven seasons for the Islanders, where he totaled 88 points (42 goals, 46 assists) in that span. Even more impressive was winning five straight Bob Nystrom Awards, which goes to the Islander that best exemplifies leadership, hustle and dedication.

Tags: Matt Martin
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Isles fans angry over Tavares 00:01:34
Islanders fans give their reactions to the news of John Tavares signing with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Islanders fans called in to SNY en masse to bid John Tavares farewell.

Some were furious with Tavares, some understood his decision, and others had vitriol for ownership and departed GM Garth Snow.

What are your feelings about Tavares bolting for Toronto?

Tags: John Tavares
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Anders Lee (27) Mathew Barzal (13) Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports (Raj Mehta)
Anders Lee (27) Mathew Barzal (13) Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports (Raj Mehta)

Isles Country was devastated to see John Tavares decide to take his talents home and play for the Toronto Maple Leafs next season. And though fans may see only darkness ahead for the Islanders, NBC hockey analyst Pierre McGuire believes there to be light at the end of the tunnel. 

After analyzing the process Tavares took during his interview period that led up to his ultimate decision, McGuire understood why Tavares decided to fulfill his "childhood dream" to play for the Leafs instead of the organization that drafted him first overall back in 2009. 

"I'm not surprised," McGuire told SNY. "When you grow up in a Canadian city and you grew up dreaming about playing for that team whether it'd be Montreal or Vancouver or Toronto, that's a hard thing to not want to foresee or go through. So I understood that part of it after the fact."

Tags: Anders Lee, John Tavares, Mathew Barzal, Scott Thompson
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Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Tom Kuhnhackl handles the puck against New Jersey Devils defenseman Will Butcher during the second period at PPG PAINTS Arena. (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)
Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Tom Kuhnhackl handles the puck against New Jersey Devils defenseman Will Butcher during the second period at PPG PAINTS Arena. (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders announced they signed five players, including former Pittsburgh Penguins forward Thomas Kuhnhackl, on Monday.

New York re-signed goaltender Christopher Gibson to a two-year, two-way deal, and also announced it signed Seth Helgeson to a two-year deal, Mike Sislo to a one-year deal and Matt Lorito to a two-year deal with the first year being a two-way one.

Kuhnhackl, 26, totaled two goals and six assists in 69 games for the Penguins last season, and has recorded 11 goals and 28 assists since entering the league three seasons ago.

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John Tavares (91) Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
John Tavares (91) Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

On the day after, as the Islanders turn the page after the most soul-sucking moment for the club and Country in this century, some thoughts as we await Lou Lamoriello's next move…

Lamoriello did not agree to run the Islanders because he was convinced Tavares was staying with the team

Take this to the bank: Lamoriello's decision to tackle this major project did not come down to whether one great player was going to re-sign with his team. His life in the game has always been about the image of "team," not "individual" accomplishments. If anything, Tavares' defection should only further energize the new boss. If this is to be Lamoriello's final act in the game, what better way to close a magnificent career than with the complete exorcism of a team haunted by three decades of mismanagement?

Tags: John Tavares, Chris Botta
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Feb 19, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Christopher Gibson (33) warms up before a game against the Minnesota Wild at Barclays Center. Gibson was added to the roster this morning when goalie Thomas Greiss was placed on IR. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Feb 19, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Christopher Gibson (33) warms up before a game against the Minnesota Wild at Barclays Center. Gibson was added to the roster this morning when goalie Thomas Greiss was placed on IR. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Islanders extended G Christopher Gibson for another two years, the team announced Monday.

Gibson signed a two-way deal worth $650,000 in the NHL and $225,000 in the AHL next season, and for the 2019-2020 season, his pay increases to $700,000 and $250,000 respectively. 

Tags: Christopher Gibson, Scott Thompson
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Mar 3, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) looks on against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at PPG PAINTS Arena. The Penguins won 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Mar 3, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) looks on against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at PPG PAINTS Arena. The Penguins won 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

John Tavares asked the Islanders not to trade him during the season. He then flirted with five other teams before bolting the Isles for his hometown Maple Leafs. 

Maybe the Islanders never had a chance to lure Tavares back, with the dream of playing for the Leafs trumping anything the Isles could've done to convince him to stay.

What was your initial reaction to the news? How do you think Tavares handled the decision? What will you miss the most about him? Where do the Isles go from here? 

Tags: John Tavares
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Tavares not returning to Isles 00:02:46
Chris Botta breaks down what the future holds for the New York Islanders after John Tavares' decision to sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

As the confusion, sadness and anger sets in with the news that the days of John Tavares as a New York Islander have come to an end, it is constructive to accept the magnitude of the loss.

While he fulfills what he has described as a "childhood dream" to play for the Maple Leafs, Tavares' departure is the latest (and hopefully final) massive blow to the reputation of the Islanders organization -- as big a blow as any New York sports team has endured since free agency first came to baseball five decades ago.

This absolutely a stain on the franchise -- the final piece of the legacy of former general manager Garth Snow, with blame shared by the refusal of current owners Scott Malkin and Jon Ledecky to do anything for two years to upgrade a miserable organization.

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Mar 27, 2018; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Ottawa Senators left wing Tom Pyatt (10) defends against New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) in the third period at Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports (Marc DesRosiers)
Mar 27, 2018; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Ottawa Senators left wing Tom Pyatt (10) defends against New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) in the third period at Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports (Marc DesRosiers)

Former Islanders captain John Tavares wrote goodbye letters to the Islanders organization and their fans after he decided to sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The 27-year-old Tavares spent all of his first nine career seasons with the Islanders dating back to 2009-10 when he was 19 years old.

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New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. (Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. (Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders announced they re-signed defenseman Thomas Hickey to a four-year deal on Sunday.

Hickey, 29, had five goals and a personal-best 25 assists last season.

Tags: Thomas Hickey
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New York Islanders center John Tavares skates against the New Jersey Devils during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 31, 2018, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Islanders center John Tavares skates against the New Jersey Devils during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 31, 2018, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Islanders captain John Tavares has signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs on a seven-year deal with an average annual value of $11 million.

The Islanders had extended an eight-year offer to Tavares on Saturday afternoon, reports Arthur Staple of The Athletic. But on Sunday morning, he informed the team of his decision not to return.

The Islanders were expected frontrunners to re-sign the veteran center.

Tags: John Tavares
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Philadelphia Flyers center Valtteri Filppula (Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports)
Philadelphia Flyers center Valtteri Filppula (Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders announced they signed forward Valtteri Filppula to a one-year deal on Sunday.

Filppula, 34, totaled 11 goals and 22 assists in 81 games for the Philadelphia Flyers last season.

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Toronto Maple Leafs center Leo Komarov shoots the puck against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Air Canada Centre. (Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY Sports)
Toronto Maple Leafs center Leo Komarov shoots the puck against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Air Canada Centre. (Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY Sports)

After John Tavares announced he was signing with the Maple Leafs, the Islanders signed former Toronto forward Leo Komarov to a four-year, $12 million deal, TSN's Bob McKenzie reports.

Komarov, 31, scored seven goals and 12 assists in 74 games with Toronto last season. 

A former sixth-round pick, Komarov has totaled 52 goals and 70 assists in 327 games since debuting in the 2012-13 season.

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New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) plays against the Detroit Red Wings in the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, April 7, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya/AP)
New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) plays against the Detroit Red Wings in the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, April 7, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya/AP)

The latest John Tavares update is that there is no update.

As of Sunday morning, none of the six teams in the Tavares sweepstakes, including the Islanders, have been notified of a decision, according to multiple reports

A decision still could be made on Sunday, though, as the NHL remains on #TavaresWatch...

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Apr 7, 2018; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Islanders right wing Chris Wagner (21) attempts to pass the puck during the second period against the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports (Raj Mehta)
Apr 7, 2018; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Islanders right wing Chris Wagner (21) attempts to pass the puck during the second period against the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports (Raj Mehta)

Former Islanders C Chris Wagner is heading to the Bruins on a two-year, $2.5 million contract, reports Andrew Gross of Newsday.

Wagner spent one season with the Islanders after stints with Anaheim and Colorado. He played in 15 games with the Islanders, tallying one goal.

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New York Islanders forward John Tavares (91) celebrates his goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes) (Jeffrey T. Barnes/AP)
New York Islanders forward John Tavares (91) celebrates his goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes) (Jeffrey T. Barnes/AP)

The NHL is collectively awaiting John Tavares' free agency decision as the superstar picks where he'll continue his career, be it with the Islanders or elsewhere.

In the meantime, fans have delivered with humor. Check out some of the best #TavaresWatch tweets below.

Tags: John Tavares
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Mar 26, 2018; Raleigh, NC, USA; Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson (41) looks up during the game against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Ottawa Senators 4-1. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)
Mar 26, 2018; Raleigh, NC, USA; Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson (41) looks up during the game against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Ottawa Senators 4-1. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)

After giving up an NHL-worst 296 goals last season, the Islanders could use a defensive makeover. 

Team President Lou Lamoriello appears focused on doing just that. The Isles selected D Noah Dobson with one of their first-round picks (No. 12 overall) and now they are reportedly interested in Senators G Craig Anderson, according to Postmedia's Bruce Garrioch

Anderson, 37, requested a trade earlier this month. Last season was his statistically-worst campaign since 2005/06, as he posted .898 save percentage and a 3.32 GAA..

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Oct 7, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) in the third period against Buffalo Sabres at Barclays Center. Islanders win 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)
Oct 7, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) in the third period against Buffalo Sabres at Barclays Center. Islanders win 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)

Free-agent-to-be John Tavares could make his decision later today.

Tavares, 27, narrowed down his list of teams to five -- the Islanders, Sharks, Maple Leafs, Lightning and Stars -- and has met with each over the past week. He met with with new Islanders head coach Barry Trotz and GM Lou Lamoriello on Monday, and Tavares had previously been a impressed with the Lamoriello hire.

The Islanders drafted Tavares No. 1 overall in 2009, and he has scored 272 goals, 349 assists and 621 points since debuting at 19 in the 2009-10 season. 

Tags: John Tavares
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 (Jerome Miron)
(Jerome Miron)

At Islanders rookie minicamp, the players got to take part in 4-on-4 scrimmages and did not disappoint the crowd at Northwell Health Ice Center.

Oliver Wahlstrom, who was selected with the No. 11 overall pick in last week's NHL Draft, scored this incredible goal. Watch below.

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Feb 5, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) skates to a face off against the Nashville Predators during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Feb 5, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) skates to a face off against the Nashville Predators during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

"He wants a fair deal, to be happy, and most of all, he wants to win." That is the viewpoint of a former Islanders teammate of John Tavares, the franchise player who will conclude his listening sessions Wednesday and decide very soon if he wants to stay with the Orange and Blue.

While TSN insider Bob McKenzie continues to pound the refrain that Tavares will stay in New York -- "If you ask anyone around the NHL, they'll tell you he's going back to the Islanders," said Bob -- the Tavares camp wants you to know this process has been genuine and his mind is open to a move.

Tavares' pal took exception to the notion, articulated a few times in this space, that the all-star center is "doing his part" for the NHLPA by listening to his agents and visiting with six teams (including the Islanders). He insists that these three days of meetings are about more than negotiating a salary he could proudly put on the board for his fellow stars in the NHL.

Tags: John Tavares, Chris Botta
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New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) plays against the Detroit Red Wings in the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, April 7, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya/AP)
New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) plays against the Detroit Red Wings in the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, April 7, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya/AP)

The Islanders were one of the first teams to pitch John Tavares, who is about to hit free agency. And if the odds are to be believed, they should be confident in their ability to bring him back

Aside from the Islanders, the Stars, Maple Leafs, Sharks, Lightning, and Bruins are pursuing Tavares. So, who has the best odds to land him?

According to BetOnline, the Islanders are the favorites to land Tavares, which would mean retaining their franchise cornerstone. The Isles come in at +125, followed by the Sharks (+275), Maple Leafs (+500), Bruins (+700), Stars (+800), and Lightning (+850).

Tags: John Tavares
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New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) plays against the Detroit Red Wings in the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, April 7, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya/AP)
New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) plays against the Detroit Red Wings in the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, April 7, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya/AP)

You won't have to wait much longer to learn if the Islanders are still the slight favorites in the hunt for John Tavares. The Steven Stamkos talks of two years ago taught us that.

Although unrestricted free agency begins Sunday, July 1, Tavares will have completed his "listening period" with other teams by Thursday, and possibly Wednesday night. If, when that process is finished, Tavares does not commit to the Islanders soon after - with a press conference by Saturday at the latest - we will know that sincere interest in other teams remains.

Two years ago at this time, Stamkos embarked on his listening period, as overseen by his team at the powerful Newport Sports - the agency led by Don Meehan.

Tags: John Tavares, Chris Botta
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John Tavares (91) Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
John Tavares (91) Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Islanders were one of the first teams to present their pitch to top free-agent C John Tavares during the interview period that began on Monday, per SportsNet's Chris Johnston

The meeting on Monday night lasted approximately two hours and 15 minutes, and it appeared successful as Isles GM and president of hockey operations, Lou Lamoriello, and new head coach Barry Trotz walked out smiling. 

Tavares has been an Islander his entire life, and though entering the interview period may seem like a slight to the only franchise he's known, Lamoriello doesn't mind it at all. It's his right to do so.

Tags: John Tavares
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 (Eric Hartline)
(Eric Hartline)

The Islanders invited 30 forwards, 17 defensemen and six goaltenders to their mini camp that began on Monday.

Among the forwards invited include Joshua Ho-Sang, Michael Dal Colle and Michael Babcock, while Sebastian Aho and David Quenneville are among the defensemen. 

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New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) plays against the Detroit Red Wings in the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, April 7, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya/AP)
New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) plays against the Detroit Red Wings in the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, April 7, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya/AP)

The race to win John Tavares' talents next season kicked off on Monday when the interview period opened up. Teams other than the Islanders are allowed to pitch Tavares as they look to sign the NHL's top free agent this summer. 

In their pitch, every team will have their added incentives to piggyback the large amount of money Tavares is likely to receive. For the Islanders, they can add bagels to that list. 

Bagel Boss, one of the most renowned bagel shops on Long Island, has vowed to send Tavares and his wife fresh bagels to their home every morning if he signs an extension with the Islanders next season...

Tags: John Tavares
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Ryan Pulock (6) Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports (Raj Mehta)
Ryan Pulock (6) Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports (Raj Mehta)

The Islanders have extended qualifying offers to C Brock Nelson and D Ryan Pulock among others on Monday. 

Nelson, 26, collected 35 points (19 goals, 16 assists) with the Islanders over 82 games last season. He has the highest qualifying offer among the five Islanders at $3.5 million for next season, per CapFriendly.com.

The 23-year-old Pulock has an offer of $832,500. He had 10 goals and 22 assists for a total 32 points over 68 games last season. 

Tags: Brock Nelson, Ross Johnston, Ryan Pulock
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New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) plays against the Detroit Red Wings in the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, April 7, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya/AP)
New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) plays against the Detroit Red Wings in the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, April 7, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya/AP)

Islanders C John Tavares' highly-anticipated interview period begins on Tuesday, and many organizations are lining up to talk to the top free agent on the market.

Along with the Isles, the Stars, Maple Leafs, Sharks, and Lightning are meeting with the 27-year-old center between today and Wednesday, per TSN's Darren Dreger. There will also be phone conversations with 2-3 teams, including the Bruins, that could potentially lead to in-person meetings. 

The Islanders have made all the right moves to entice their captain to return next season. Co-owners Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin lived up to their promise of changing the team's hockey operations by bringing in Hall of Fame GM Lou Lamoriello to run their operations. Stanley Cup-winning head coach Barry Trotz was also brought over to lead the Islanders next season. 

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New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) plays against the Detroit Red Wings in the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, April 7, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya/AP)
New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) plays against the Detroit Red Wings in the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, April 7, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya/AP)

The orchestration of the free agency period of John Tavares continues.

As almost everyone has suspected for more than six months, the Islanders were informed today by Pat Brisson that Tavares will participate in meetings with five other teams before the official opening of the unrestricted free agent market on July 1.

The Islanders remain very much in the mix - the slight favorite going into this race, in fact, according to the majority of people around the league I've spoken with over the last two days...

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 (Christopher Katsarov)
(Christopher Katsarov)

As day two of the NHL Draft goes on, the Islanders continue to add to their team. 

In the fourth round, the Islanders select C Jacob Pivonka (No. 103 overall).

Pivonka, 18, played 59 games for the USA U-18 national team, scoring 20 points (8 G, 12 A). He's committed to Notre Dame for 2018/19.  

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Sep 17, 2017; Uniondale, NY, USA; General view of NYCB Live at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum before a game between the New York Islanders and the Philadelphia Flyers at NYCB Live at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 17, 2017; Uniondale, NY, USA; General view of NYCB Live at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum before a game between the New York Islanders and the Philadelphia Flyers at NYCB Live at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Islanders have selected G Jakub Skarek in the third-round with the No. 72 pick.

Skarek, 18, is from the Czech Republic and played for HC Dukla Jihlava in his homeland. He played in 21 games and gave up 2.41 goals against per game with a .913 save percentage.

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Sep 17, 2017; Uniondale, NY, USA; General view of the ice before a game between the New York Islanders and the Philadelphia Flyers at NYCB Live at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 17, 2017; Uniondale, NY, USA; General view of the ice before a game between the New York Islanders and the Philadelphia Flyers at NYCB Live at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Islanders have selected Russian F Ruslan Iskhakov with the No. 43 pick of the NHL Draft. 

Iskhakov, 17, scored 30 points (6 G, 24 A) in the MHL, the Russian U-20 league. He stands at 5'8" and weighs just 150 lbs.

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Jan 22, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Lou Lamoriello and New Yor Yankees general manager Brian Cashman watch the Toronto Raptors play against the Phoenix Suns at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)
Jan 22, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Lou Lamoriello and New Yor Yankees general manager Brian Cashman watch the Toronto Raptors play against the Phoenix Suns at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)

The Islanders continue to add to their defense through the draft, as they have selected D Bode Wilde with their second-round (No. 41 overall) selection. 

Lou Lamoriello drafted a defenseman in the first-round, taking D Noah Dobson with their No. 12 overall pick.

Wilde, 18, had 16 points (13 G, 3 A) with the USA under-18 team in 25 games this season. He stands at 6'2" and weighs 198 lbs. He is known to be a two-way defenseman. 

WIlde recently de-committed from Michigan ahead of the draft.

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 (Jerome Miron)
(Jerome Miron)

The Islanders went for some defensive help with their No. 12 overall pick, as they selected D Noah Dobson. 

Dobson played Acadie-Bathurst Titan in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last season, where he totaled 69 points (17 goals, 52 assists) over 67 games. 

At 6-foot-3, 176 pounds, the 18-year-old Dobson was ranked the No. 5 prospect by HockeyProspect.com. He is known to be an above-average skater that is great on both ends of the ice. 

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 (Jerome Miron)
(Jerome Miron)

With the 11th overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, the Islanders selected RW Oliver Wahlstrom.

Wahlstrom, 18, played for the USA National Development Team for the second straight season last year. He collected 83 points (40 goals, 43 assists) last season. He also joined Team USA in the World Junior Championship, where he tallied seven goals and two assists over seven games. 

Wahlstrom couldn't be anymore excited to get his NHL career going with the Islanders. 

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