Scouting the Toronto Maple Leafs and Calgary Flames …
David Pagnotta: Scouts listed to attend last night’s Maple Leafs-Flames game: Dallas Stars, Winnipeg Jets, New Jersey Devils, Montreal Canadiens, Boston Bruins, Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers, Buffalo Sabres (two – including an assistant GM), Los Angeles Kings, New York Rangers, and the Colorado Avalanche.
On the Florida Panthers …
On Potential Free Agent Landing Sports for John Tavares …
Greg Wyshynski of ESPN: Looking at some potential landing spots for John Tavares if he hits the open market, including remaining with the Islanders.
New York Islanders – He wants to lead this organization back to the Cup. Arena issues remain a concern.
Tampa Bay Lightning – Tavares is a good friend of Steven Stamkos, and it’s another low-key market. The Lightning may have to trade the contracts of Ryan Callahan and Tyler Johnson. The issue may be having too many big contracts, and Nikita Kucherov needing a new deal in 2019.
Toronto Maple Leafs – Tavares is from the area. Some speculation that he could do a big, short-term deal before Auston Matthews is due for a huge raise in 2019. Tavares may not want the spotlight of Toronto, and/or the Maple Leafs may be more interested in a high-end defenseman like Drew Doughty.
Montreal Canadiens – They have a huge hole at center and could be getting desperate. Would have no issues moving out salary to be able to sign Tavares. Montreal is another market that would have a huge spotlight for Tavares, something he may not want.
Detroit Red Wings – Would be the face of the franchise, is friends with Frans Nielsen and they have a new arena in place. The Red Wings have some young pieces, but not really close to being a Cup contender. The Wings also have salary cap issues.
San Jose Sharks – A dark horse team on Tavares. Tavares could replace Joe Thornton if he/they decide to move on. Signing Tavares would make them top heavy with regards to salaries as they already have Brent Burns at $8 million and Marc-Edouard Vlasic at $7 million. Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture are currently at $6 million and will need new contracts in 2019.
New York Rangers – Rangers are in a win-now mode, could be set with Tavares, Mika Zibanejad, and Filip Chytil down the middle, and Tavares would be able to continue living in New York. Would be in the spotlight again, and moving to a rival New York team.
Vancouver Canucks – Have the cap space to add Tavares and have some young talent to surround him. The Canucks may not be enough of a contender for Tavares, and it would be a long way from home.