On the New York Islanders …
“I’m hoping I’m coming back. I love it here,” Tavares said to the assembled mediaÂ before adding, “I think I’ve earned the right to take my time. I don’t know if it’s going to be a week, two weeks, a month, two months.”
Tavares could go the Steven Stamkos route and talk to teams during the free agent window before the signing period opens up on July 1st.
The Islanders would have about $33 million in salary cap space if the cap ceiling is $80 million, though they would still need to fill out the roster with 10 more players.
With the free agent looking like it does, a major trade may be the only way for Snow to get out the mess.
On the Chicago Blackhawks …
Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times: The Blackhawks have a hole in their top-four defense, maybe two.
A top-four defenseman should be at the top of GM Stan Bowman’s wishlist for this offseason, and it may not stop there.
“We’re going to look at all those options, whether it’s a trade or free-agent acquisition or promoting players from Rockford,” Bowman said. “There have been some nice stories .”
The Blackhawks are hoping that Connor Murphy can continue his play from the second half of the season and can become a top-four defenseman for them.