The Dallas Stars have a franchise 1C in Tyler Seguin. Remarkably, they could be in on another in the form of the New York Islanders’ brightest light, John Tavares.
Mike Heika has been writing about the Stars for long enough that he remembers when another elite forward, Brad Richards, decided to test free agency in 2011:
Richards worked his entire career and was a good soldier, so he felt he earned the right to be a free agent. He felt he earned the right to pick the team he wanted to play for. He felt he earned the right to make himself happy.
And that might be the most important thought to keep in mind when the Stars have a meeting with [Tavares] on Wednesday in California. Tavares, the Islanders center who can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, has earned the right to pick his next team if he so chooses. He has earned the right to make himself happy. And it appears that one place that might make him happy is Dallas.
That’s a pretty strong statement.
The DBD comment section has dealt in detail with how the Stars might fit Tavares’ predictably huge payday into their salary cap calculations. Heika hits the high points:
Dallas ... would probably not re-sign any veteran defensemen and would rely on players like Gavin Bayreuther and Dillon Heatherington coming out of the minors for depth. But the bottom line is they would add Tavares to an already deep group of forwards and would find a way to make the numbers work on defense.
That would still mean Seguin (who has a salary cap hit of $5.75 million next season) would get a big raise in 2019-20 and the salary cap crunch would get even tighter. But the Stars have some contracts that help make that work. [John] Klingberg is a No. 1 defenseman with a cap hit of $4.25 million. [Ben] Bishop is a No. 1 goalie with a cap hit of $4.9 million. You see that and think they can make all of the numbers work together.
There’s always more at Mike’s place. [Dallas Stars]
Whatever the results of #TavaresWatch 2018, it appears that there will be no additional suitors – and a decision could come soon.
John Tavares and his reps no longer plan to bring any additional teams into their free-agent process after meeting with Dallas and Tampa today.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) June 27, 2018
The field is down to six: Leafs, Islanders, Sharks, Bruins, Stars and Lightning. #TavaresWatch
The John Tavares camp is taking a step back to decompress and review what they learned over more than 12 hours of face-to-face meetings this week. None of the six finalists has been ruled out.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) June 28, 2018
He's due to become a UFA in ~86 hours. #TavaresWatch
Dallas isn’t the only market that offers a post-tax advantage:
As John Tavares hears pitches from 6 NHL clubs, a look at the tax implications of signing with each team. pic.twitter.com/4FNfxWJ2Ce— The Point (@PNThockey) June 27, 2018
In non-Tavares news, Prospect Development Camp gave Riley Tufte and Jake Oettinger a chance to mingle with some local kids attending a camp of their own.
Around the League(s)
Because there’s never an overdose of Tavares news, Dom Luszczyszyn runs some simulations on what the superstar center can (or can’t) do for the six franchises vying for him.
Greg Pateryn to the Minnesota Wild? Elliotte Friedman’s latest post includes plenty of Tavares and non-Tavares UFA speculation.
Also at SN: Rory Boylen looks at 22 players on trade watch this summer, from Corey Perry to Colton Parayko and from Andre Burakovsky to Nino Niederreiter. [Sportsnet]
The Pittsburgh Penguins are in on Jack Johnson. Reportedly, they will use some of the cap space freed up in the Conor Sheary and Matt Hunwick trades to sign the Columbus Blue Jackets D-man to a “significant” deal.
The Penguins reportedly plan to sign Jack Johnson to a five-year deal (!!) with an AAV in the $3-3.5M range. https://t.co/XlKla6Qflr— Satchel Price (@SatchelPrice) June 27, 2018
One of yesterday’s biggest headlines came from the NWHL. Goalie Shannon Szabados, a pioneering player in men’s professional leagues and arguably Hockey Canada’s most important female superstar, has joined the Buffalo Beauts. [Die By The Blade]
It sounds as if Calgary Flames fans will miss Dougie Hamilton most of all.
To anyone that wants a true understanding of what Dougie Hamilton (and his brother Freddie) are all about, this post sums up. pic.twitter.com/O0hDzP1ILe— Blake Heynen (@BlakeHeynen) June 27, 2018
It’s funny because it’s true. Enjoy.