With the Islanders’ playoff hopes all however dashed, hypothesis is rising over the way forward for captain John Tavares. The 27-year-old heart is because of turn into an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Given his celebrity stature, groups will likely be lining up if he decides to check the market.
Up to now, there’s little indication of progress in contract discussions between Tavares and Isles administration. Either side are believed to be ready till season’s finish earlier than partaking in severe talks. Nonetheless, the much less information a couple of attainable extension, the extra conjecture over Tavares’ future.
Final week, Steve Simmons of the Toronto Solar wrote it now not is sensible for Tavares to stay with the Islanders, who’ve solely reached the playoffs 3 times within the heart’s nine-season tenure. Simmons thinks the Blues and Sharks may prime the listing of attainable suitors. Groups with wage cap area and a necessity for a middle, such because the Pink Wings, Canadiens, Devils, Rangers, Canucks and Golden Knights may get into the bidding.
A few of these golf equipment, nevertheless, won’t be attractive to Tavares. The New York Put up’s Larry Brooks doubted the longtime Isles captain would be part of the rival Rangers, particularly now that they are commencing a rebuild. The identical could possibly be stated for the Pink Wings, Canadiens, and Canucks.
If Tavares decides to check the market, a sign-and-trade could possibly be attainable previous to July 1. Underneath that situation, the Islanders re-sign him to an eight-year contract after which commerce him to a membership of his selecting. In that manner, the Isles get one thing in return for a participant they can not retain and the crew touchdown Tavares will get him below contract for a 12 months longer than the utmost of seven years for unrestricted free brokers.
Talking final week on Buffalo’s WGR 550, TSN’s Darren Dreger identified such strikes are uncommon occurrences previous to the beginning of the free agent interval. The final vital sign-and-trade occurred in August 2005, when the Senators signed winger Marian Hossa and hours later shipped him to the Thrashers.
Doable locations for James van Riemsdyk
Maple Leafs left wing James van Riemsdyk is on a tear of late, tallying seven objectives in his final 4 video games heading into Thursday’s contest in opposition to the Nashville Predators. Sitting at a career-high 33 objectives, the 28-year-old is the Leafs’ main purpose scorer this season.
Given van Riemsdyk’s eligibility for unrestricted free agent standing July 1, there’s rising hypothesis in Toronto over his future plans. Final week, TSN’s Darren Dreger speculated re-signing the winger may value the Leafs over $6 million yearly on a long-term deal.
Dreger doubted the Leafs will go that top to maintain van Riemsdyk within the fold. He identified they need to additionally re-sign restricted free agent heart William Nylander this summer season and forwards Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner by subsequent summer season.
Toronto has practically $50 million invested in 16 gamers. With the wage cap anticipated to succeed in round $80 million for 2018-19, the Leafs may have as much as $30 million in cap room. That may give them enough area to ink van Riemsdyk to a hefty increase and depart greater than sufficient for Nylander plus every other additions or replacements as they see match.
The Leafs, nevertheless, should take the long-term value into consideration. Re-signing Matthews and Marner will take a major chunk out of their cap payroll beginning in 2019-20. Administration could possibly be reluctant to take a position an excessive amount of for too lengthy in an older asset comparable to van Riemsdyk after they should lock up youthful stars with extra upside to long-term extensions earlier than the summer season of 2019.
They might additionally want to depart enough wage cap area obtainable to bolster their blueline depth. Capitals defenseman John Carlson is slated to turn into a UFA this summer season, whereas Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson, Los Angeles’ Drew Doughty and Arizona’s Oliver Ekman-Larsson are eligible in 2019.
If van Riemsdyk hits the open market, there will likely be appreciable curiosity in his providers. On Tuesday, TSN’s Mark Roe and Craig Button steered the Oilers, Hurricanes, Devils, Coyotes and Blue Jackets as attainable locations. Roe additionally proposed the Sabres, however Button doubted van Riemsdyk would have curiosity in becoming a member of a flawed Buffalo roster.
Having an opportunity to skate alongside celebrity heart Connor McDavid could possibly be tempting for van Riemsdyk. Nevertheless, the demise of Milan Lucic this season may depart the Oilers reluctant about signing one other high-priced free agent. Whereas the Coyotes and Hurricanes have appreciable cap room, van Riemsdyk could be unwilling to affix rebuilding golf equipment at this stage in his profession.
That leaves the Blue Jackets and Devils as one of the best choices. They’re each playoff contenders and carry greater than sufficient cap room to make a pitch for a prime free agent in July.