After a failed attempt to sign Russian superstar Ilya Kovalchyuk, who ended agreeing to a three-year deal with the Los Angeles Kings, the Boston Bruins are not willing to miss out once again on a talented player. Bruins general manager Don Sweeney is focused on one thing right now: convincing pending free agent and New York Islanders star forward John Tavares to come to Boston.
On Tuesday, Tavares met with representatives from the San Jose Sharks and Bruins, and while some say that the Islanders captain has reportedly narrowed down his team to three teams, the Islanders, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Sharks, Sweeney is pulling up all the stops to get Tavares on board.
According to Kevin Dupont of the Boston Globe, the Bruins could move veteran forwards David Krejci and/or David Backes to clear cap space if they win the Tavares sweepstakes. Krejci has three seasons left on his contract with an annual salary-cap hit of $7.25-million and a no-movement clause. Backes also has three years remaining ($6 million cap hit) and no-movement protection.
Their clauses changes next summer to modified no-trades, so it could be a challenge right now. However, Tavares could be encouraged by the willingness to clear cap space for his expected massive deal, and bigger role on the team's roster.
"There’s no guarantee that they get moved even then, but there’s a far better chance than today, with Tavares house hunting and lining up home inspections," writes Dupont.
According to the information provided by CapFriendly, the Bruins have some $12 million in cap room, thanks in part to last week’s announcement that the cap was lifted from $75 million to $79.5 million for the upcoming season.
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, and for the Bruins as well, it seems...