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|After missing the playoffs for the second straight year Authentic Carlton Davis Jersey , and eighth time in the last 11, the New York Islanders head into the offseason with much work to be done. The most important task is signing captain John Tavares, who is set to be a free agent this summer.
Tavares has said all along he hopes to be back with the only franchise he’s played for, but doesn’t know what will happen. However, with the season having ended less than 48 hours ago, he needs to take a breather first.
”Take some time to not even think about hockey for a few days,” Tavares said Monday. ”And then prepare for the offseason and training, and obviously the contract will come up here as well.”
Tavares, 27, just wrapped up the final year of a six-year, $33 million contract, and would be the top free agent available July 1. The face of the Islanders since they selected him No. 1 overall in the 2009 draft, Tavares had 37 goals and 47 assists this season, finishing a goal and an assist shy of the career highs he set in 2014-15.
”This is where I hope to be and I’ve stated that,” he said. ”Just have to take some time and figure out what I want to do.”
Islanders co-owner Jon Ledecky and general manager Garth Snow have both repeatedly said they want Tavares to return, and Snow reiterated that Monday.
”We want to be in a situation where he has the Stanley Cup in his hand, wearing an Islanders jersey, and we want him to retire as an Islander Authentic Yonder Alonso Jersey ,” Snow said.
Ledecky read a statement in which he declined to address the futures of any player, or the statuses of Snow and coach Doug Weight, saying the team was ”committed to long-term success,” and defined that as ”competing every year for the Stanley Cup and eventually winning a fifth ring.”
He added: ”For the past season, as owners we have failed. We sincerely apologize to our fans. We want to express that our ownership group is totally committed to winning and providing the resources to do just that.”
The Islanders finished 35-37-10 despite getting off to a strong start in which they won 15 of their first 24 games.
However, injuries to defensemen Calvin de Haan and Johnny Boychuk started them on a tailspin in which they lost 30 of their final 45 games (15-24-6).
There were some bright spots, led by Mathew Barzal’s 22 goals and 63 assists that make him the leading candidate for the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie. Also, Anders Lee had the franchise’s first 40-goal season since Jason Blake in 2006-07, and Josh Bailey had career bests of 18 goals and 53 assists.
Some other things to know as the Islanders head into the offseason:
IMPROVING THE DEFENSE
Finding a way to improve the defense needs to be the second priority this summer – after retaining Tavares. The Islanders finished eighth in the league in scoring with 261 goals, but gave up a league-worst 293. They were also last in shots allowed and penalty-killing,
Nick Leddy had an unseemly minus-42 rating, the league’s worst since Pittsburgh’s Rico Fata (minus-46) in 2003-04. Calvin de Haan was lost for the season in December and is also set to be free agent. On the bright side, Ryan Pulock and Adam Pelech, both 23, established themselves as solid young defensemen.
THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT
Barzal and Anthony Beauvillier, both 20, formed a solid second line with Jordan Eberle, 27 Minkah Fitzpatrick Jersey Elite , combining for 180 points to complement the top line of Lee-Tavares-Bailey (217).
Eberle had 25 goals and 34 assists in his first season in New York, and Beauvillier had a breakout second season in the NHL with 21 goals and 15 assists.
WHO’S IN GOAL?
Thomas Greiss is the only goalie signed for next season, with Jaroslav Halak set to be an unrestricted free agent. Greiss dealt with an injury down the stretch and finished 13-8-2 with one shutout and a 3.82 goals-against average.
Halak was 20-26-6 with a shutout and a 3.16 GAA in the final season of a four-year deal. The 32-year-old had a solid first season, going 38-17-4 with a 2.43 GAA in 2014-15, but totaled just 50 wins the last three years.
With the Islanders having made the playoffs just four times in 12 years since Snow was hired as the GM, he was asked if he deserved to stay on the job.
”Yeah,” he said. ”When I took over this position it was a situation where it was an all-out rebuild. … Now we’re in a situation where we feel we can compete for a Stanley Cup.
”You can go through the lineup and have a pretty common theme of successful stories of where we’ve built through the draft. And I think our prospect pool at this point in time is impressive as well.”
HOME AND HOME
The team’s struggles this season were punctuated by losses at Barclays Center, where they were 59-26-16 since moving to the Brooklyn arena before the 2015-16 season.
However, they lost 15 of their final 22 games there to finish with a losing record on home ice for the first time since 2013-14.
Now, the Islanders will be splitting home games between Barclays Center and the Nassau Coliseum – their former home – for at least the next three seasons until a new arena is built at Belmont Park.
Follow Vin Cherwoo at We're one week into the 2018 NFL preseason. After watching rookies and backups handle the majority of snaps, let's take a look at the rosters from a wide-scope lens to examine the best teams with full power rankings.First, we'll go through the factors that went into the hierarchy below. Instead of simply hitting copy and paste on last year's standings, it's all based on projections and patterns.聽Offseason transactions and how they could affect the team takes precedence over what happened in 2017. Impact players and coaches may help shift an advantage in favor of their new club.Nonetheless, it's important to look at trends. Did a defensive unit struggle against the run over the last three seasons? What did the front office do the address that weakness? Is a quarterback in the midst of a regression? Those elements matter when teams have yet to play a regular-season snap.Looking primarily at the factors above, check out the latest summer power rankings to debate, discuss and dispute.聽 聽 聽聽August 13 Power Rankings1. New Orleans Saints2. Los Angeles Rams3. Philadelphia Eagles4. Atlanta Falcons5. Pittsburgh Steelers6. Minnesota Vikings7. New England Patriots8. Green Bay Packers9. Jacksonville Jaguars10. Carolina Panthers11. Los Angeles Chargers12. Houston Texans13. Baltimore Ravens14. San Francisco 49ers15. New York Giants16. Oakland Raiders17. Dallas Cowboys18. Detroit Lions19. Kansas City Chiefs20. Cincinnati Bengals21. Indianapolis Colts22. Miami Dolphins23. Seattle Seahawks24. Tennessee Titans25. Denver Broncos26. Chicago Bears27. Washington Redskins28. Cleveland Browns29. New York Jets30. Arizona Cardinals31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers32. Buffalo Bills聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽No. 1 New Orleans SaintsJonathan Bachman/Associated PressThe New Orleans Saints take the top spot. If not for an ill-timed shoulder tackle, this squad would've made it to the NFC Championship Game after erasing a 17-point deficit against a stout Minnesota Vikings defense. That type of mistake won't happen twice.Last season, the Saints defense finished top 10 in points allowed. The front office made a concerted effort to further strengthen the unit Raiders Game Jerseys , acquiring linebacker Demario Davis, cornerback Patrick Robinson and first-round rookie pass-rusher Marcus Davenport.We remember the days in which New Orleans needed to put up 35 points to win games, but it's a team that's made significant strides on the defensive side to take pressure off quarterback Drew Brees' arm.Running back Mark Ingram will serve a four-game suspension for violating the league's performance-enhancing drug policy, but a backfield committee featuring Alvin Kamara in complement with an explosive aerial attack should keep the offense sharp. Top to bottom, the Saints will field one of the most complete teams in the league.聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽No. 3 Philadelphia EaglesMitchell Leff/Getty ImagesThe defending champions take a slight fall in the early power rankings. Based on projections, the No. 1 spot isn't automatically reserved for the last year's champion. The Philadelphia Eagles lost some pieces of their Super Bowl-winning squad.Robinson, who led the team with four interceptions last year, inked a four-year deal with the Saints. LeGarrette Blount, Philadelphia's lead ball-carrier from the 2017 season, signed a one-year contract with the Detroit Lions. The front office opted to release Mychal Kendricks after a solid campaign, leaving an open competition for the third linebacker spot in the聽base defense.Finally, how will quarterback Carson Wentz bounce back from an ACL and LCL tear? Nick Foles stands behind him as a Super Bowl LII MVP, but the 2016 first-rounder intends to open the season as the starter.The notable subtractions and the big question mark under center knock the Eagles down two spots behind a pair of teams that acquired significant roster upgrades. Still, Philadelphia's roster looks strong enough to maintain a spot in the top three.聽聽 聽 聽聽No. 7 New England PatriotsMaddie Meyer/Getty ImagesThe losing club in Super Bowl LII falls to the No. 7 spot. Every year, a portion of NFL fans wait for the New England Patriots' downfall, but they continue to contend at a high level. The club has won nine consecutive AFC East titles and appeared in three of the last four Super Bowls.Despite losing three key components during the offseason, it's foolish to push this squad outside of the top 10. The two most impactful people remain, head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady.Nonetheless Youth Brian Allen Jersey , expect a realistic slide for the AFC champions. Matt Patricia kept this defensive unit in the top 10 in points allowed in his six years as a defensive coordinator. He accepted the Lions head-coaching offer during the offseason. Belichick benched the team's best cornerback in Malcolm Butler in Super Bowl LII, and as expected, he didn't return on a new deal and signed with the Tennessee Titans.聽Offensively, Brady will have a new blindside protector after Nate Solder signed with the New York Giants. Even though the Patriots have options for his replacement, specifically Trent Brown and rookie Isaiah Wynn, the inexperience on the left side causes a pause with skepticism. Dion Lewis, the Patriots leading rusher from the last term, also signed with the Titans and his potential successor, rookie Sony Michel, underwent a procedure on his knee, per ESPN.com's Mike Reiss.New England comes into the 2018 season with major question marks on both sides of the ball, which leads to a slight drop, but don't expect to see the onset of the franchise's demise. Belichick, Brady, tight end Rob Gronkowski and the system will keep this team in Super Bowl contention..
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