The John Tavares sweepstakes are heating up and it seems like some paper work has already begun on Saturday. According from the information provided by David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period, there is a massive offer already on the table for the New York Islanders captain.
It was reported earlier today that Tavares has decided that he will speak with teams other than the Islanders during the free agency interview period. While the Isles understand his position, they keep battling to keep their captain in town by making him an offer on Saturday.
Once again, according to Pagnotta, the offer is believed to be an eight-year contract, worth $88 million.
One of the teams expected to meet with Tavares is the Vegas Golden Knights. The Toronto Maple Leafs are also reportedly going to meet with the star forward.
GM Lou Lamoriello commented on Tavares’ decision to meet with other clubs, stating that he does not feel disappointed or discouraged by the pending free agent’s move, according to Brett Cyrgalis of The New York Post.
“I have no disappointment, I have no discouragement. I think he’s earned every right to make whatever choice he has. The most important thing is that we hope the decision is to be an Islander.”
The 27-year-old star forward can become an unrestricted free agent July 1. Of course Islanders fans want to see him stay with the team, which selected him first overall in the 2009 NHL Entry draft. Tavares has recorded 621 points (272 goals, 349 assists) in 669 games with New York and has been Islanders captain since the 2013-14 season.
The NHL free agency interview period kicks off on Sunday. A player can speak to teams and agree to terms but cannot sign until July 1. New York can offer Tavares an eight-year contract; other teams can offer seven years.
The Islanders are still believed to be in the mix, especially after landing Stanley Cup winning head coach Barry Trotz this past week.
“We talked about the team, areas that we feel that we can fix together, areas that we can look to improve upon, all those things,” Trotz said Thursday. “It was a great conversation.
“If you know anything about John, he’s as classy of a captain as you can have in the National Hockey League. He’s passionate. He’s very insightful, very intelligent. He has one goal, it’s just to win. And I’m fortunate that we have the same vision, myself and Lou. We want to build something back on the Island.
“John has been a big piece for a long time, right? He wants to be a part of that as well.”