NHL Rumor Mill – April 20, 2018

by | Apr 20, 2018 | Rumors | 57 comments

Latest John Tavares speculation plus an update on the Vancouver Canucks in your NHL rumor mill.

The San Jose Sharks or Vegas Golden Knights could be possible free-agent destinations for New York Islanders center John Tavares (Photo via NHL Images)

TAVARES

THE ATHLETIC: In a recent breakdown of the New York Islanders’ unrestricted free agents, Arthur Staple said there’s chatter around the league the “magic number” to sign John Tavares is $88 million (roughly $12.6-million) on a seven-year contract or around $100-million on an eight-year deal if the Isles re-sign him.

If Tavares gets to the five-day window between the NHL Draft and July 1 when he can speak to other clubs, Staple believes the New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings, Vancouver Canucks, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Florida Panthers, St. Louis Blues, Arizona Coyotes, Carolina Hurricanes and Buffalo Sabres could be interested in the center’s services.

Staple considers the San Jose Sharks and Vegas Golden Knights as the standouts. The Sharks have the cap space and winning pedigree that could entice Tavares, while the Golden Knights made a big pitch at the trade deadline for Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson and could use a big star to cement itself as more than a one-hit wonder.

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cited Elliotte Friedman’s Tuesday appearance on Vancouver’s Sportsnet 650 discussing the possibility of Vancouver native Evander Kane re-signing with the San Jose Sharks. Noting the Sharks have over $20 million in salary-cap space for next season, Friedman said they could also keep an eye on Tavares’ free-agent status. He suggested they have the cap room to sign both players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Tavares doesn’t re-sign with the Islanders, I believe he’ll want to join a club that can not only afford his expensive new contract but also provide him with the best chance of winning the Stanley Cup. That rules out all on Staple’s list but the Sharks and Golden Knights. I don’t believe Tavares will disrespect the Isles by signing with their hated rival. The Blues, Wings, Canucks, Canadiens, Senators, Coyotes and Sabres are retooling or rebuilding. Having gone through enough of that with the Islanders, Tavares could be reluctant to repeat that experience elsewhere. The Panthers and Hurricanes are on the cusp of becoming playoff contenders but Tavares might prefer a team that can win now.

The Sharks could have over $25 million in cap room if the ceiling rises as projected to $80 million for next season. After re-signing restricted free agents Tomas Hertl, Chris Tierney and Dylan DeMelo they’ll have plenty of cap room to sign Tavares and Kane, but I think the preference could be one or the other so as to ensure there’s sufficient long-term cap room for future moves. 

CANUCKS

THE ATHLETIC: In his recent eight-point plan for the Vancouver Canucks to make the most of this offseason, JD Burke suggested they “weaponize” their salary-cap space by targeting teams with prospect depth in need of shedding salary. He thinks the Dallas Stars could seek someone to take the final season of center Jason Spezza’s contract ($7.5-million cap hit) off their hands, or the Washington Capitals could look for a trade partner for the final year of defenseman Brooks Orpik’s $5.5- million cap charge, or the Tampa Bay Lightning might seek a taker for the final two years of winger Ryan Callahan’s $5.8-million annual price tag.

Burke also suggested the Canucks make a bold move, like perhaps trading restricted free agent winger Sven Baertschi “before he takes them to the cleaners for a contract that won’t move them any closer to contention.” He would also be surprised if defenseman Ben Hutton is still with the Canucks when training camp opens in September, though he doubts the blueliner will have much trade value. He thinks it’s in their best interest to move rearguard Chris Tanev for futures. Burke also wondered if they can convince defenseman Alex Edler to waive his no-movement clause to accept a trade to a Stanley Cup contender.

THE PROVINCE: Jason Botchford also speculated the Canucks might use Baertschi as a trade chip this season. Noting general manager Jim Benning’s suggesting he might look at re-signing the winger to a one-year deal, Botchford thinks that could set up the Canucks to move him at the trade deadline. 

Ben Kuzma reports Hutton is determined to return strong next season and prove his critics wrong. His agent, Andy Scott, said his client hasn’t asked to be traded. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the retirement of the Sedins, Cap Friendly indicates the Canucks have over $51 million invested in 16 players next season. Baertschi, Jake Virtanen, Troy Stecher and Derrick Pouliot are their notable restricted free agents. There’s plenty of room to take on an expensive one- or two-year contract of an aging veteran from a rival club if they can also get a top prospect or a high draft pick included in the deal. Spezza has a 10-team no-trade list, Callahan’s no-movement clause becomes a modified no-trade on July 1 and Orpik lacks no-trade protection. Of the three, Orpik would probably be the easiest to acquire.

I agree with Botchford’s take that Baertschi could get shopped at next season’s trade deadline. Hutton, however, could be dealt to a new club by the end of June. Tanev’s come up a lot in Canucks trade speculation but they seem reluctant to move him. That could change, however, if they can grow their blueline depth over the course of next season.  

 








57 Comments

  1. J T wants 12.6 per year? If we had a G M with brains he would have been gone at the deadline could have brought back a lot. In my opinion that is way to much for a player who never back checks and is fair in face offs. I would offer 10 mill per year can’t afford to over pay and with other bad contracts already given out by barff snow can’t absorb another. Fire snow lose the dead weight coach.

  2. Lyle, when discussing SJ cap space, you made no mention of Joe Thornton. Are you replacing him with JT?

    • That’s why there’s so much talk of the Sharks pursuing Tavares via free agency.

      • Gotcha. I still think you can’t count out Rangers. Don’t forget they both play in NYC. Tavares wouldn’t need to relocate. Going to west coast is big change

      • Yeah, a great change. Get to live in one of the nicest cities, have a fan base and media who are supportive, and play for a team who has made the playoffs 18 out of the last 20 seasons.

      • one of the nicest cities?

      • chris trying to say its not one of the nicest cities by asking that question ;)? I do think the Sharks are badly run when it comes to their pro shop compared to LAK. I remember messaging them to buy a puck from a game they played on Jan 24th… They didn’t even reply at all… While in contrast anytime contacted the Kings site they were really nice ;). Even Vegas contacted me back before they had a team in contrast to the horrible Sharks ;).

    • Slick I think Jumbo Joe is done, they swept Ducks without him playing a second :). Even if he comes back to NHL I don’t know if any team would be dumb enough to give him 8M unless its all incentive laden. His heart might still beat though is body is beat :). Not even Super Beets can repair those knees its just too long. Maybe he can come back in 2nd round or later to help Sharks make a push for Cup. They can probably get past Vegas, they already beat Nashville when made Cup final last time. So this is going to be the last chance Jumbo Joe has of getting his name on the SC unless he becomes a coach or GM :).

  3. James Dolan executive director of MSG,spoke to reporters the other day … quote: “And I know we need that one great player who can make a difference. We’ve identified some who might become available, and if they do, we want to be in position where we’re able to get them.”
    He was discussing how although they where rebuilding, they still plan on returning to playoffs next year. He also was answering questions about leadership in locker room and who would be next captain. He spoke highly of McDonaugh as a player, but felt that maybe he was thrust into a position he wasn’t suited for. If Tavares doesn’t sign with Isles, Rangers will be all in. I don’t buy all that hated rival bs… what I see is maybe Tavares sees 1st hand an organization that is committed to winning.

    • I am 100% on board with this rebuild. I wouldn’t mind it being sped up with adding guys like Tavares. However, the fact that Dolan seems so heavily involved with this rebuild has me a little nervous. Dolan is solely responsible for the state of the Knicks. His over involvement and not having any clue of how to run a franchise and delegate the day to day decisions to those that do (GMs, coaches, scouts etc. ) have set the knocks back years!

      I think he should stay as far away from the Rangers as possible. Maybe he should concentrate on driving the knocks organization yet further into the ground! If this guy is now going to be involved with the day to day decisions and roster moves , Sather and Gorton should RUN away!

      • Hahahaha. Knocks was an auto correct! Even Siri gets the state of the Knicks organization. Knocks is pretty fitting!

      • I hear you, but I really just think he was echoing what Gorton and staff have planned. This isn’t really a full rebuild. Just a decision to stop hitting their heads against the wall with same group. Tampa trade was really only deal where we gave up 2 core guys that weren’t on expiring contracts for futures. We all knew McD was possibly getting moved with 1 year left, Miller was a surprise. Will be an interesting summer. Adding JT or Kovy ( on a 1-2 year deal) won’t hurt future.

    • Rangers like a 100% to 85% more likely to land King Karl over Tavares… I would say JT has 0 interest in playing for the Rangers in a harder media market even if its still NY. Least Islanders are moving to a new arena so that would be appealing for him. Brooklyn has the worst ice in the NHL probably. Though there many who would complain Madison Square Garden has crap ice… So he might as well play in Florida to pay less taxes or TExas even if the ice isn’t great ;). King Karl on Rangers makes a lot more sense, they can sign Ilya to a cheaper contract than Tavares getting as much or more offensive production in theory too. Also selling lots of jerseys to the great russians who live in the area that I love and adore :).

  4. Hey, maybe the Wings can entice Vancouver to take Ericsson…..

    • Sure…toss in Athanisaou and take Eriksson back
      First u gotta convince each one to waive

  5. Vancouver is hosting the 2019 draft so I’d imagine any moves Vancouver makes will be to increase the number of picks they have next year. Sign Baertschi and trade at the deadline, trade Tanev at the deadline, get Hutton in shape and move at the deadline, it’s Edler’s last year so ask him to waive his NMC and move to a contender at the deadline.

    • @Gored
      I’m not sure why having a ton of picks while hosting the draft as opposed to any other draft would be so important. There’s no advantage other than getting your fans excited for a few moments…it hardly trumps success on the ice, and they will take another step forward next year imo.

    • I think the Kings hosted the draft they took the 1st round bust Forbort over TArasenko :). Only to have McNabb a better player than Forbort will ever be score the GWG to sweep them :). I think Devils hosted the draft when they made the big splash for Schneider ;). Maybe VAncouver can trade for Luongo if they host the draft ;). Sure NHL will try to rig the bogus draft lottery so they have the 1st overall pick :). I wish they would pick the year prior what order of finish will draft where instead. That way teams don’t really have a reason to tank. Also at the deadline knowing that would create some better trades for the losing teams who might need it… IF team thinks they might finish in a spot that will get 1st overall pick they have more reason to pump things up… On other hand if know that just missing the playoffs would net the 1st overall or a really good pick it would give teams a reason to try to make post season knowing if they come up short they will be rewarded :).

      • Luongo isnt leaving Florida

      • Tyler it was a joke since way things ended w/ Luongo in Vancouver :). He will probably retire on the Panthers or try to get a new deal if he lasts that long ;).

  6. Tavares 12.6 is a joke I hope ,you could have two off the best line in hockey for that. Stamkos got 8.5 Johnny your not Stammer 7.5 maybe.

    • Obe: Stamkos took a massive home town discount on his deal and the cap was ~$10M lower than next year’s projections when he signed his extension. Tavares will get more than $8.5M/year, let alone $7.5M/year.

      I wouldn’t give Tavares $12.6M/year either. $10-$10.5M/year max.

      • Van -Tampa knew the cap was going up but they realized to build a winner you can’t pay crazy money for one player it doesn’t work. I’m a Bruin fan I hope other teams pay crazy money go for it they will never win anything. I hope Toronto pays Mathews 15 million and Nylander 10 and Marner 10 and it will be another 50 years before they win a cup.

      • Boston has a lot of great contracts right now (Krejci and Backes are the only bad ones other than the Beleskey retention) and should be top 10 in the league for the next five years.

        If Toronto gave Matthews $15M/year for 8 years, they’re complete idiots. Nylander and Marner at $10M/year each would be really bad too. They should be able to keep the three of them around $25M combined at the most. Otherwise, they’ll be Edmonton 2.0.

    • the state tax in Fla is nil. example is Toronto would of have to give Stamkos like 10.5 to equal out to 8.5 in Fla.

      • There is a calculator on Cap Friendly for that, it’s closer to $9.8M, but it certainly gives the sunbelt teams, as well as Vegas, a leg up in that department.

        Some players could still earn more in total in bigger markets, as it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Stamkos could earn another $1.3M+ from endorsement deals in NYR, Toronto, or Montreal, but he would feel like he worked for that extra money, where as living in Tampa he just gets it for being there.

      • Chad its not just the taxes its the cost of living… Like California over 20% of that state is in poverty when factor in the cost of living… YOu get a red light camera or whatever in California its like 826 or something crazy compared to like 80 dollars in NY another heavily taxed state. So cost of living in Toronto is probably a lot more than Winnipeg unless the snow counts :). STamkos is a class act unlike trash like Kopitar who bled Kings for 10M he wasn’t worth ;). His injury history lowered his long term price tag factoring in he will miss time… His number is in line with guys like Crosby or Malkin to took less so the Penguins can win back to back Cups besides others prior to that depending on how far back… I think Crosby won a Cup w/ Fleury in net while Super Mario was still playing :). Either way Fluery got 3 Cups from that team now trying to get 1 w/ Vegas :). He probably should have won the VEzina though the JEts goalie deserves it by a vast margin of TAmpa or Nashville :).

    • Obe until the next lockout or whatever players going to keep trying to jack up their yearly price… When could sign guys for 10-20 years it was actually better than this… NOw they try to cram in all the money that would get in that 10-20 year span into guaranteed contracts that payout even if they strike or lockout. NHL at this rate will collapse in about 10 years… They don’t have the TV contract in USA or support to keep it up… When seeing playoff games on the Golf Channel that I get for some odd reason but don’t get the NHL network which should be free to all during playoffs if nothing else… NHL wants to grow as a league, make your stupid worthless channel free year round or least open it up to all during playoffs when shift games there etc.

  7. How does Ottawa make any sense for Tavares? They would put that money towards Karlsson assuming they can sign him, plus they need to extend Duchene and Stone long term. They also need to extend Ceci (hopefully, not more than 3 or 4 years) and leave enough room for Chabot’s next contract. Plus, they have two very good centre prospects (White and Brown) that should be able to fill the 2 and 3 centre slots for 7-10 years.

    Though not as good, Duchene will be their long term No. 1 centre and cost millions less per year.

    • Van I don’t see any team in Canada signing TAvares… Even Carolina would be a destination more likely or anywhere in the USA :).

  8. Could Carolina pitch for Tavares? They’re deep on the back end. They have a ton of cap space. All they’re missing is a number one centre and a number one goalie.

    • Makes sense to me.

    • It makes sense that Carolina is interested and I believe they will make an offer. The question is would Tavares want to play there? He would have to be comfortable with the new coach, the new GM, believe the owner is stable, and believe that they will sign a number 1 goalie before next season. Therefore, I don’t believe they have a chance of signing Tavares.

      • GP who is the GM of Carolina :)? Who is their Head Coach if current guy just opted out? I think its a safe bet they would want Tavares being a decent fit in many ways… Though I just don’t see him sticking around there w/ all the issues from the top down after his experience w/ Islanders ownership/GM/Coach BS :).

  9. San Jose looks to the front-runner For Tavares’ services to me. Although, he would look great in Vegas! However, he is a hockey player and hockey players are very boring! He will return to the Islanders.

    • Agree. And don’t forget Stamkos doesn’t pay state tax in Florida. I could see him getting 12 if he was a few years younger, but not many teams will commit to 7 years at that price.

      • I don’t see Isles letting Tavares walk because of contract. If he leaves, it’ll be his choice. Isles will be building new arena and letting face of franchise walk for nothing will not help sell seats. Better off investing extra money on JT

      • Slick Barzal could just as easily become the new face of the franchise if he left :). I think they will offer him like 11M or so a year to stay over 8 years maybe 100M for 8… Though the real question is does JT want to come back at all? He should have asked for a trade at deadline if he didn’t want to stay on Long Island for them though. So I do hope he does badly if he leaves unless he ends up on a team that like ;).

  10. Tavares is good but rarely and effectively backchecks.

    If Steve Stamkos who is as good and a better all around player including defensively can sign for 8.5 why would anyone in their right mind saddle themselves with anything close to 12.5.

    • Supply and Demand. Stamkos knowingly took less in total salary as it was. If Tavares doesn’t want to take a discount then he doesn’t have to, and the market value for a top tier #1 centre is somewhere around 15% of the cap, so with the cap increase, he will cost significantly more.

      If a GM decided to set hard limits on what he would pay players based on some of the better contracts players currently have, he would build a non-competitive team of bargain basement players.

      I am not sayin GM’s should line up to fork over the biggest contracts to whoever is available, just that star players getting massive deals isn’t what kills a teams cap, it’s what you surround them with.

      Pittsburgh has successfully kept the top 2 centres of the past decade in their line up, despite paying them top dollar at the time of signing. They did so by not being afraid of having certain players walk, or moving out players they just plain couldn’t afford. They made their commitment to a couple of key guys and kept it flexible around them, and continued to find value where they could. That is what is required in today’s NHL. Connor McDavid at $12.5M is not going to be Edmonton’s problem. It’s tying up too much money to role players like Lucic that will kill you.

    • Frank STamkos wants a cup also 8.5M there is like 12M in CAlifornia or NY w/ the taxes :). I think what hurt Stamkos is he has had injury problems which lowered his value long term.

  11. I don’t believe for one second that Tavares has loyalty so deep he refuses to sign with NYR’s. How many players have played for both? A ton. And that’s when the rivalry was much deeper.

    Are guys like McCabe, Berard, Lafontaine ,Vanbiesbrook , Maloney, Weight morally corrupt because they made that move?
    I think that people put WAY too much into Tavares loyalty bs. Let’s be honest, that rivalry hasn’t meant much in nearly 30 years!

    I’d get saying these two franchises would never exchange a franchise player via trade, but this is just ridiculous.

    All that being said, I don’t really see the Rangers going after Tavares. Zibanejad, Hayes, Andersson, Chytl, Spooner, Namestikov, etc. None of which are Tavares, but also none of which are nearly as expensive either. Plenty of depth down the middle. If NY should chase any UFA, it should be John Carlson.

    • Agree on Carlson. Although he isn’t available yet and the Caps could resign him.
      That dude picked the right time to have a career year. Does he get $7M? or even $8M?

      • Ray funny even guy whose name sounds same on Vegas Karlsson or Wild Bill picked the right year to score 40+ :). LEast CArlson can’t win the Norris so his price tag wont be that high ;). Figure like 8 years 60M will be what he ends up getting if had to guess… Though he might leave for 7 years at like 56M or whatever ;).

    • Let’s not forget Isles great Brian Trottier coaching Rangers. I really can’t see Him leaving Isles, but if I’m Rangers, I’d go for it. Would make us a lot stronger down the middle. Everyone talked all year how we lacked a true #1 c. Gives kids more time to develop. Others might be packaged for a young DMan. Trouba? Hamilton?Cap hit won’t seem so bad in a few years. Front load the contract.. in 3 years Hank, Shatty and Staal will all have expiring contracts. Again, I don’t see Isles not signing, A lot can happen between now and July. Let’s get past draft and see where we’re at. Might get lucky next weekend with lottery.

    • I remember when the Rangers has 70-80 mill payrolls and would miss playoffs most other teams were in 20 mill range. The days before the cap. I’m sure once Kovalchuk signs his mega deal with NYR Tavares will take less money to play with the legend

  12. If the Sabres were interested in singing Tavares the advantages they would have are..1. Sabres owner would front load huge amount of money, he would get 80% in first 3 years, most teams never do that. 2. Tavares relatives were star lacrosse players in area.

    If I’m him I would ask for 10 million because 12.6 would limit your team from cup chances

    • Matt if Tavares wanted a cup he would have had Islanders trade him at deadline… EVen the 1st, 2nd, 3rd round pick for that bust Tatar would be more than Islanders get if he walks. I think JT just wants to cash in, his play will probably decline if not end in injury. I think JT wants 13M a year, he will try to get that or sign w/ a team that don’t pay taxes. For him to stay w/ Islanders it would cost them like 12-13M a year maybe 11M if they are lucky… I don’t think he would join Rangers since the Devils are a better option… Besides Henrik is near the end of the line he wouldn’t want to deal w/ the real NY media during a rebuild. Vegas would be his best option for the money to chances to win a Cup. AFter that Sharks never won a Cup nor will they ever unless they do it this year anyways. Why throw life away to play in an open border rampant invaders committing crime only to be let back out on street state? His home would get robbed, then if they caught anybody they would just be released before ICE can get them anyways. He would be paying like half his salary in tax not to mention the cost of living in California… Look where most players who play there live… You don’t see many Kings living in LA when Beyonce along w/ her husband can’t even afford to buy a home there w/ their millions they want :). NY allows to live in other places if play here or other parts of the metro area. He would be better off breaking the bank in TAmpa or Florida if not DAllas :).

      • Wtf? San Jose isn’t even near the border… lmao. I think Dallas is closer to Mexico. Not that any of your rant makes sense but I guess if Tavares, who isn’t American, watches a lot of Fox News, then I guess this is relevant?

      • Slick Fox news wasn’t the only to broadcast the trash in San JOse attacking a woman in a Trump jersey… NY or Long Island isn’t close to the border as you put it… YEt got MS 13 along w/ other gangs that are rampant there… Who when arrested just get put back on the streets by the leftists using them to destroy the nation and freedom :). TExas its a lot easier to shoot somebody w/ the gun laws there… So if some illegal invader is on property they will get blown away… While in a retreat state like NY have to let them rob house unless they corner in a room w/ no exit… Even then will have to probably end up in a trial to prove that it was justified to gun somebody down who would harm family.

        Your weak reply makes no mention about the cost of living between TExas or California along w/ the taxes… YOu got needles on the streets of California, people living in created homeless town, people who crap on the streets its a real mess… EVerybody that knows who moved from NY to live in California couldn’t wait to escape that death trap. Not to mention the 3 strikes laws where get 50 years in prison for bogus crap :). I might like teams from California like Kings/Sharks but sure woudln’t wish living there on my worst enemy ;). There a reason gotta pay Jumbo Joe 8M to stay in San Jose even at his advanced age :). You get rear ended by some illegal invader then have to try to get money out of them :). YEt if one of these NHL players is unlucky enough to rear end somebody who has invaded the country… YOu can bet some lawyer will sue them for millions… Fox News is Center Left Propaganda crap anyways… Lou Doubs is alright otherwise they are pretty barren over there w/ their fake Libertarians who are just leftists like Kennedy :). OAN One America News is probably better than any of that stuff if want any news… McDavid dressed up as Trump while his girl was Melania :). Bet he would never play in California ;).

      • I’m sure we all appreciate your effort to turn this site into a personal therapist. Please stop

      • People pick what they want to reply to instead of focusing on content etc… I had posts about Kings yesterday nobody had a clip on… People just want to live in a fantasy world… I remember the Canadian legend to who was known for movies like Black Chrismas, Porky’s, Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things, besides those baby geniuses movies… You ever wonder how he died or what happened when he did? Smythe when he was on KIngs requested a trade out of CAlifornia since his family wasn’t safe living there. I think most people who I see writing on here need some serious therapy or whatever to be honest :). Here is a reason for any to think twice before going to CAlifornia much less live there…

        Clark and his son, Ariel Hanrath-Clark, 22, were killed in a head-on car crash on the Pacific Coast Highway in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles on the morning of April 4, 2007. The crash occurred when an SUV crossed the median and struck Clark’s Infiniti I30, causing the closure of the highway for eight hours. Police determined that the SUV’s driver, multi-deported illegal immigrant Hector Velazquez-Nava, had a blood alcohol level of three times the legal limit and was driving without a license. He initially pleaded not guilty to two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter, but changed his plea to no contest in August. On October 12, 2007, Velasquez-Nava was sentenced to six years in prison under the terms of a plea agreement.

        Yeah let me get a 10-13M payday to live in a state that a guy gets 6 years if he kills me along w/ my son… Driving drunk the wrong way… Personally I think it would be great since like Sharks as my 3rd favorite team if Tavares was willing to throw his life away :). People don’t need therapy they need money ;). Instead of talking about stuff just give them money to solve all their problems especially gambling additions :). I made no mention of Mexico either but some idiot brings it up? Clearly people don’t know the mixture of the illegal invaders or where or how they get here in mass… I’m not going to give a lesson on that since people lack reason they only have emotion so its pointless :).

    • The sabres are beyond terrible ! Toxic, poisoned atmosphere! Why would any UFA in their right mind sign here ! Lmao! Stop

      • I never said we wanted him or that he wanted to go there BUT what I did say was our owner has more money to blow than 75% of most owners and a player who only cares about money would love all that front loaded cash.

        Sabres won’t be bad forever, Rangers don’t even have a center, I rather have Eichel and ROR along with Middlestadt than anyone in NY.

      • I would never sign Tavares to a 7 year deal, he’s slower than most star players and these days forwards are done at early 30s. I’ll stick with young fast players.

      • All those (two) amazing centers and they still finished what? DEAD last in the east? Congratulations…. I guess?

        And both seem extremely happy to be a part of that glorious franchise!

  13. Taveres is a much better player than Stamkos. He has not had the supporting cast and has been more durable. Could get is different than what he would take to play for a contender. The Isles have botched up his career.

    As for TO, the measure of Matthews, Nylander and Marner will be what they take to keep the team a contender. They have a good young core but need to improve the defense and get experience. If they win one more game it will be a bonus for this year.