How this Islanders rumor impacts the Rangers

John Tavares (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The New York Islanders have had almost a year to negotiate a new contract for their franchise star, John Tavares. The 28 year old center has even expressed a desire to stay but he is less than 2 months away from hitting the open market. The situation for the Isles looks pretty bleak.

Enter Lou

Snow billboard (Bardown)

Garth Snow is a name that sparks outrage in the Islanders fan base. It’s so bad they have taken out billboards to get rid of him. Well, Islanders ownership may be listening.

Meanwhile, Lou Lamoriello is no longer the GM in Toronto and isn’t really happy with his new role as an advisor. Now word is getting out that he may be in talks with the Islanders.

The Rumor

[su_quote cite=”Chris Nichols” url=”https://frshockey.com/nhl/islanders/dreger-updates-lamoriello-to-islanders-speculation/”]Darren Dreger during a Thursday segment on Vancouver’s TSN 1040. “It’s funny. I just checked on that earlier today. They’re trying to keep it as hush-hush as possible, but the sense is out there – from the sources I’m talking to anyway – that there is dialogue that’s happening between Lou Lamoriello and the New York Islanders.[/su_quote]

If Lamoriello were to come on board, this would instantly change the situation for Tavares. There’s no way Lou would take the job unless he was guaranteed to lock up Tavares for the next 7 to 8 years at top dollar. It also means that Tavares will look at the Islanders as a team legitimately intent on winning and improving the players around him.

Impact on the Rangers

James Dolan all but said the Rangers would be in on Tavares when he stated they were in on adding a superstar this summer. If Tavares is no longer available there simply isn’t another player like him out there. The argument is defenseman, Erik Karlsson could fit the bill, but the Rangers really need a star forward to lead the way.

Trying to find a similar player would require a trade and that would likely involve giving up future talent, thus slowing the rebuild. Tavares being a UFA would only cost money and speed up the process. If Lamoriello joins the Islanders, the Rangers will have to stick to their guns (youth) and take the longer road to success.