On the Vegas Golden Knights …
On John Tavares …
Matt Larkin of The Hockey News: Looking at the top five landing spots for free agent center John Tavares. He’ll be looking at a seven- or eight-year deal for at least $10 million a season.
New York Islanders – Are still the favorite. Bringing in Lou Lamoriello helps, and Matt Barzal gives them some hope. Tavares will likely meet with teams during the ‘negotiating window’ but could circle back to the Islanders as Steven Stamkos did.
New Jersey Devils – Would be a great fit for Tavares, especially with Taylor Hall on the left side. They have lots of salary cap space to sign Tavares and their other free agents.
St. Louis Blues – They have the cap space to add Tavares, and a nice collection of NHL forwards as well as some nice prospects on the rise. The could be in a position to compete for a while. St. Louis is a good size hockey market, but is not a “pressure cooker,” which might appeal to Tavares.
San Jose Sharks – UFA Joe Thornton would like to return, and if he does at a number close to the $8 million he made last season, it would likely keep them out of the John Tavares sweepstakes. Not signing Thornton and buying out Paul Martin would give them room for Tavares.
Vegas Golden Knights – Do they slow down a bit or take another run and go after Tavares. They could even re-visit Erik Karlsson talks. It might mean they don’t bring UFAs James Neal and David Perron back.
Other teams to keep an eye on including the Pittsburgh Penguins, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens and Columbus Blue Jackets.
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