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Tavares: ‘There’s no part of me that wants to leave’


James OBrien

On Monday, Islanders captain John Tavares addressed rumblings about him wanting out of New York -- and addressed them emphatically.

“I signed six years because I wanted to be here. There’s no part of me that wants to leave,” Tavares told Newsday. “I think [the talk] is a product of the team not winning, and the perception around here from other markets is always a lot different from what actually happens.”

Tavares’ name has come up in recent weeks, thanks in large part to comments made by TSN’s Darren Dreger:

Dreger says that Tavares may possibly be reaching the point where he doesn’t want to be in New York much longer. No intel, just a feeling.

— Hope_Smoke (@Hope_Smoke) March 27, 2014

Dreger “Rick Nash didn’t want to be the guy to come home to Toronto. Tavares is the type of guy who could handle Toronto”

— Hope_Smoke (@Hope_Smoke) March 27, 2014

Tavares does seem committed to the Isles. He just wrapped the second of a six-year, $33 million deal -- his first season as team captain -- and, at 23, has to be somewhat excited about the prospect of the Isles’ young talent on the horizon.

Following a season-ending knee injury at the Olympics, Tavares watched as the Isles rolled out a number of their kids and received some good results: Ryan Strome had 18 points in 37 games, Brock Nelson finished 11th among NHL rookies with 14 goals, Calvin de Haan posted career highs in games (51) and points (16) while Anders Lee, a sixth-round pick in 2009, scored an impressive 14 points in 22 games.

Given the other good talent on the horizon -- Scott Mayfield, Johan Sundstrom, Griffin Reinhart, Ryan Pulock -- it’s not surprising that Tavares still sees many positives for the future.

“I know we’ve still got some great things we can accomplish here,” he said. “My mindset hasn’t changed.”