On Ilya Kovalchuk …
Bob McKenzie: Ilya Kovalchuk is now 35-years old and is officially off the NHL voluntary retired list.
He’s now an unrestricted free agent and able to talk with NHL teams. He can’t officially sign a contract until July 1st.
On the Vancouver Canucks …
Those UFAs may find out in the next two to four weeks if they will be offered contracts by the Canucks.
On the New York Islanders …
Andrew Gross of Newsday: John Tavares continues to say he wants to remain with the Islanders. GM Garth Snow continues to say he wants Tavares to retire as an Islanders. As the closer July 1st gets, the odds increase that Tavares signs with another team when free agency gets underway.
Don’t expect a hometown discount for Tavares and it’s believed that it will cost around $10.5 million per season.
Tavares has a good relationship with GM Snow and head coach Doug Weight, but he may not want to wait around for the arena to be finished being built. He may also not be that impressed how the team has been built defensively.
Potential landing spots for Tavares – San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues, Vegas Golden Knights, Detroit Red Wings and Vancouver Canucks.
Places that Tavares won’t go – Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers.
If the Islanders realize that they won’t be able to re-sign him, they could look to trade his rights to at least get some asset(s) for him. The acquiring team could offer an extra year as opposed to signing him as a free agent.