SYOSSET, N.Y. -- John Tavares has cast his lot with the Islanders, committing himself through the 2017-18 season after signing a six-year contract this week.
He's glad to have all the hubbub about his future out of the way.
"I'm excited about it," he said after the first day of training camp at Iceworks, "but it's kind of nice to put it all behind me and move on, get ready for the season. It was an emotional week; there was a lot going on. It's nice to kind of catch up on some rest and get ready for the season."
After four years of missing the playoffs, he also feels it's time for one of the NHL's youngest teams to start turning talent and promise into results.
"We have to approach it that way," he said when asked about the importance of moving ahead after back-to-back 13th-place finishes in the East. "There's only so long when you can gain experience and go things and feel like you can make mistakes and learn from them.
"Obviously it's still going to happen -- we're still growing in a lot of ways. But it's time to move on and really use training camp to get us ready for the season. We need to be more consistent and put it together for 82 games."