Not even the Islanders confirming Stanley Cup winning Barry Trotz as the team's new head coach could distract media and fans alike from focusing on impending free agent John Tavares.
Trotz was announced as new Islanders head coach on Thursday and, if he didn't already know, he quickly found out that all roads lead to Tavares at the moment.
"I think the Tavares situation is in good hands," Trotz said on a conference call on Thursday. "The great thing is that Lou is in constant contact with John and they've had great dialogue. Obviously I've reached out to him and had a great conversation."
Trotz's optimism isn't baseless. Last week, TSN's Darren Dreger. reported that Tavares is focusing on negotiating a contract extension with the Islanders and has been in daily contact for the last two weeks. The 27-year-old is reported to approve of the Islanders' decision to hire Lamoriello last month.
"Obviously John is such a big part of the team, we talked, " Trotz said. "We talked about a lot of things, like the vision. We talked about where he was. We talked about the team, the areas we feel we can fix, areas we feel we can improve upon. It was a great conversation."
The 55-year-old Trotz had been the head coach of the Capitals since the 2014-15 season, leading them to the playoffs each season.
"If you know anything about John, he's as classy a captain you can have in the National Hockey League," Trotz said. "He has one goal: It's just to win. I'm fortunate that we have the same vision, both myself and Lou. … John has been a big piece for a long time, he wants to be a part of that as well."
Tavares, who was drafted first overall by the Islanders in 2009, totaled 37 goals and 47 assists in all 82 games for New York last season.