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John Tavares: Leader of the Islanders

John Tavares: Leader of the Islanders

According to Newsday, the New York Islanders plan to name John Tavares their new captain sometime next week.

Tavares, 22-years-old, is certainly captain worthy. He led the Islanders to the playoffs this past season, and he is absolutely the spark plug for their offense. And he may be young, but why not let a young man lead a young team?

The Islanders have been so bad for so long. If only I was able to see them in the 80’s when they were insanely dominant. No. I got the shit-team that could never reach the playoffs, and if they did, they were out first round.

Last year I believed with all my heart they could beat pretty-boy Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburg Penguins. And no one can say that they didn’t come close. But the past is the past, and with a solid, young team like the Islanders have, I’m looking towards the future.

The Islanders have some of the best offensive players in the NHL. And the best part is, they’re young. If the Islanders office can keep this debacle of moving from Uniondale to Brooklyn minimum, and keep the team together, the Islanders will be a top team for a while.

The line of Matt Moulson, Tavares and Kyle Okposo is arguably one of the best lines in hockey. They are explosive, quick and dangerous. The chemistry between Moulson and Tavares should scare teams. And if that doesn’t, Okposo’s attitude should.

The defense is still iffy. And they need to work on their power plays. And although Evgeni Nabokov was tied for fourth in wins this season, he’s old. And he wont be our goalie for much longer. And as good as Tim Thomas is, he’s old too. And after a year off, hopefully he can be as productive as he can be.

But Tavares has been the Isle’s diamond in the rough for a while now. And I’m glad he finally got the recognition he deserves this past year. This past season, he was third in the league for goals – with 28 – and 17th in the league for points – with 47.

Luckily, the Isle’s gave him a $33 million, six-year contract extension that keeps him with the team until, at least, 2018. However, I like to think hockey players are not as superficial as other professional sport athletes. I think Tavares will be an Isle for the long run.

A guy with his ability can win a championship with minimal talent around him. But with players like Okposo and Moulson playing alongside Tavares, and guys like Mike Martin to make sure no one messes with him, he has the potential to bring the Islanders back to the dynasty they once were.