No doubt about it, the spotlight is shining brightly on New York Islanders captain John Tavares these days. With just four days to go before the opening of free agency, there’s no one in the NHL generating as much buzz as Tavares. The free agent superstar reportedly negotiated with the Islanders and the Toronto Maple Leafs yesterday afternoon from his agent’s headquarters in Los Angeles.
Today, it’s expected that Tavares will meet with representatives from the San Jose Sharks and Boston Bruins later today, then the Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars tomorrow afternoon. This according to a report from TSN’s Darren Dreger.
San Jose and Boston will present to John Tavares tomorrow in LA. The Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars will deliver their pitch on Wed.
It’s long been predicted that Tavares will test the free agent market, but analysts still haven’t count out the option that he’ll decide to stay on Long Island. Still, Tavares’ camp has confirmed that he’ll meet with at least six other clubs this week, effectively giving them the green light to woo him with contract negotiations and plans for the future. The Sharks and Leafs have factored into things for awhile now, as have the Islanders themselves, but up until yesterday we could only guess at who else might be making a pitch for Tavares in free agency.
Dreger’s TSN colleague Pierre LeBrun reported yesterday afternoon that two new unnamed teams had entered negotiations and would be making a pitch to Tavares over the phone.
Confirmed teams that John Tavares will meet with this week at CAA offices in L.A.: Dallas, Boston, San Jose, Toronto, Tampa (plus of course NYI). The Tavares camp will also have conversations with 2-3 other teams over the phone and perhaps also meet with 1-2 of them.
Jonathan Davis of SiriusXM NHL has now confirmed that those two additional teams are in fact the Nashville Predators and the Vegas Golden Knights.
Just to add. Hearing Vegas and Nashville are those teams
For those keeping score at home that’s officially nine, or unofficially depending on who you ask, teams vying for Tavares' services. What’s perhaps most interesting though is that the team most linked to Tavares in rumors heading into this offseason, the Montreal Canadiens, are nowhere to be seen. Evidently Tavares gave the Habs the, “thanks, but no thanks,” treatment. Ouch.