Where will John Tavares end up this summer?
Newsday: John Tavares will be a unrestricted free agent on July 1st and he will be looking to make $10.5 million/year. If Tavares tests the free-agent market on July 1, Andrew Gross report the San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues, Vegas Golden Knights, Detroit Red Wings and Vancouver Canucks as possible suitors. He doesn’t see Tavares landing with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens or New York Rangers.
If the Isles cannot re-sign Tavares before July 1, Gross speculates they could attempt to trade his rights to a club that can sign him. Another option is signing him to an eight-year contract and then shipping him to another club.
What will the Edmonton Oilers do this Off-Season
Edmonton Journal: Jim Matheson recently listed several things for Edmonton Oilers fans to watch for during the offseason. Among them is the never-ending search for an offensive right-shooting defenseman, though it might mean giving up a left-shot blueliner like Oscar Klefbom or Darnell Nurse to get one, “or a first-round pick in a package for a left-shooting Oliver Ekman-Larsson, if he’s available”.
Matheson also reports the Oilers will target more affordable free agents such as Columbus’ Thomas Vanek or New Jersey’s Michael Grabner. Ottawa’s Mike Hoffman could be a trade option. He doesn’t see the Oilers buying out the remaining five years on Milan Lucic’s contract. They don’t intend to trade center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
Blackhawks seeking top-4 defenceman & scoring winger
Chicago Tribune: Steve Rosenbloom acknowledged the Chicago Blackhawks’ priority is finding a No.1 defenseman or at least a top-four blueliner. However, he also felt their offseason shopping list should include a sniper for Patrick Kane’s line.
Rosenbloom noted Kane’s production declined this season, his first since the Hawks shipped winger Artemi Panarin last summer to the Columbus Blue Jackets. He suggested Toronto Maple Leafs winger James van Riemsdyk, who tallied 36 goals this season, as one possibility, though the cost of signing van Riemsdyk could prove too expensive. The Blackhawks might have to make a trade to address that need.