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Tavares reiterates desire to remain with Islanders

Center says he's had 'great open communication' with team, wants 'experience to continue' in New York

NHL.com @NHL

Center John Tavares reiterated his desire to remain with the New York Islanders on Tuesday, though he declined to discuss where contract negotiations stand.

Tavares has one season remaining on the six-year, $33 million contract he signed with the Islanders in 2011. He became eligible to sign an extension on July 1.

"I think I'll just keep all that internal," Tavares told TSN in Toronto. "We've had great open communication. It's obviously a great place to play. I've really enjoyed my time being an Islander and I want that to continue."

Tavares, the No. 1 pick in the 2009 NHL Draft and Islanders captain, had 66 points (28 goals, 38 assists) in 77 games last season. He has 537 points (235 goals, 302 assists) in 587 NHL games, all with the Islanders.

"I'm just trying to focus and get ready for Day 1 of training camp, approach it like I have every year," Tavares said. "For me personally, I don't know why I would change my approach. I think I keep learning, keep getting better. You're always tweaking things, seeing where some things have worked well and parts of your game have come a long way. I'm just trying to get better and be the best player I can be for the Islanders."

Video: NYI@PIT: Tavares buries winner past Fleury in SO

New York acquired right wing Jordan Eberle from the Edmonton Oilers in a trade for forward Ryan Strome on June 22. Eberle, a five-time 20-goal scorer, is expected to be on the top line with Tavares this season.

"Listen, you come to this situation maybe twice in your career if you have a long career that works out where you're really in control of the situation," Islanders coach Doug Weight told NHL.com in June when asked about re-signing Tavares. "John wants to win Stanley Cups. He wants to be a Hall of Fame player. He wants to do it as an Islander. I would want nothing more, as our organization, than to see him lift the Stanley Cup with the 'C' on his chest with the New York Islander logo. It's where he belongs.

"Make no mistake, John loves it here. I'll speak for him, I don't mind. But he's earned the right to come and make a decision, an intelligent decision. He's a thinker. He's not a PR guy that wants to drag it out. But he's going to do what he sees fit. I believe we have an unbelievable opportunity to sign John. We have things to prove to him. But it's not going to affect our hockey club."

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