Did The Islanders Save Their Franchise, By Selecting Tavares?

william beovichContributor IJune 27, 2009

UNIONDALE, NY - JUNE 26:  Islander fans cheer after John Tavares is picked number one overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Islander during the Islanders Draft Party on June 26, 2009 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

That isn't a picture of the Lakers celebration after winning the NBA championship, or even of the Penguins celebrating their Stanley Cup win. Nope. That was the celebration after the Islanders selected number one prospect John Tavares.

I mean really look at that photo, those are fans that if a name other than John Tavares was said, would have burnt the place to the ground. (At least than the Islanders would have a legit reason to get a new arena)


There were so many rumors about who or what the Islanders would do with the pick. I myself thought the Islanders would take someone other than the person almost every fan wanted.


I've been an Islanders fan for as long as I can remember, and with that comes the expectation that they would do something weird and it wouldn't work out.

I wrote an article earlier saying that if the Islanders didn't select Tavares the franchise was done on Long Island. Tonight's eruption at the draft party at Nassau Coliseum, showed what this kid means to this franchise.

For fan's he represents a chance and a hope for the future. A chance that he might bring this team back to the glory days, or at the least . Respectability.

What Tavares will do will go way beyond what he does on the ice. The man will sell tickets, merchandise and for once the Islanders will have someone to market other than their injury riddled goalie Rick DiPietro.

Tavares could be the first pure goal scorer who fans will come to just see him. Even if the team struggles as they will because they are not just one player away from being back, fans will come to see the face of the franchise.

And what the face of the franchise might be able to do for the Islanders is get them a new arena and again begin to attract free agents to the island.

And with this new face the franchise name of ISLANDERS.... might still hold true.