The spotlight is dead on New York Islanders captain John Tavares these days as the most coveted free agent on the market has been meeting with several rival teams a few days before the opening of free agency. The free agent superstar reportedly negotiated with the Islanders and the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday afternoon from his agent’s headquarters in Los Angeles.
On Tuesday, Tavares met with representatives from the San Jose Sharks and Boston Bruins, and today, a meeting with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars is on the agenda.
However, it seems like Tavares has decided that no other team will get to make him a pitch before the opening of free agency. According to the information provided by Sportsnet's Chris Johnston, three teams are now out of the running on Tavares, as he will not meeting with additional teams. For the past weeks, it was reported that the Nashville Predators, Los Angeles Kings and Vegas Golden Knights will not meeting with the superstar forward and have lost on the Tavares sweepstakes.
Tavares is said to have enjoyed the presentation by the Maple Leafs and it might have played a role in his decision to refuse to meet with the Predators, Kings and Golden Knights. Vegas was believed to have a great shot at landing Tavares, expecting the team to offer him a great contract offer due to the abundant cap space they have and could have convinced him to become the franchise's first captain. They also just made it to the Stanley Cup final, in their inaugural season, and Tavares is said to be looking to sign with a true Cup contender.
While he is discussing with rival clubs, the Islanders are said to still be in the running to get their captain back for next season. According from the information provided by David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period, there is a massive offer already on the table for the Islanders captain. It was reported that while Tavares has decided that he will speak with teams other than the Islanders during the free agency interview period, the Islanders have made him an offer on Saturday. Once again, according to Pagnotta, the offer is believed to be an eight-year contract, worth $88 million.
There is a lot to think about for the coveted free agent, but, at least, he is cutting down his options and advancing towards a decision.