I cannot write up an Islanders season preview without addressing the two elephants in the room.
John Tavares has yet to have signed the dotted line on what could be a very lucrative contract extension.
The team captain has openly stated he wants to stay with the boys in orange and blue beyond this year when his contract ends.
However, for whatever reason, the extension has not happened yet.
Tavares has the leverage here as he does not owe the Islanders a discount or anything but the new owners and the GM who drafted him, Garth Snow, should be aware that they need to get a deal done before other teams could pursue him.
The other elephant in the room is the teams arena situation.
Obviously, the Barclays center experiment is a huge failure.
Attendance is low and the ice conditions are bad.
But recently, there is a break in this story.
The teams ownership group recently submitted the plans to build a new sports complex in Belmont, returning the team to Long Island, New York.
Both of these situations are looming over the team and must be in the players’ heads.
Make sure to follow them if they remain unsolved throughout the upcoming season.
22 of the 23 players on the Isles roster, played on the team last year. Jordan Eberle is the lone exception. Chemistry should not be a problem, if anything, an asset.
All time, the Isles are 11-22-11 in season openers. They obviously want to improve on that mark.