At the frustratingly disjointed post-season press conference with Isles management and a brief statement from co-owner Jon Ledecky, general manager Garth Snow said re-signing John Tavares was his “Plan A and Plan B.” It was a normal line, an answer to “what’s your plan B if the captain isn’t signed?” but we ran with it in frustrated snark (and later, in sober analysis) because Islanders fans, in general, have had about enough.
Now that Lou Lamoriello is in charge over everyone, we can safely say...re-signing #91 is Plan C too!
It’s clear that locking up Tavares is Lamoriello’s first, second and third priority. Lamoriello and Tavares’ agent, Pat Brisson of CAA Sports, have been in near daily contact since Lamoriello took over on May 22.
This, too, would not be all that surprising, though it’s the first “daily contact” declaration reported since news of Lamoriello’s joining and previous meeting with Tavares himself. Previous reports over the past two years have had Isles ownership — chiefly, Scott Malkin, who pulls the strings and made the contacts and pitch to bring Lamoriello on board — in frequent contact with Brisson, while Snow was his typical “those conversations are kept private” about what pitches or contact had been made. (That’s a “no comment” stance we’ll hear from Lamoriello, too, you surely know.)
(Oh, and also: Interestingly, some of those reports over the last two years had ownership pitching Brisson not only about Tavares, but also about offering Brisson a position in the organization. Such a web we weave.)
Now Lamoriello is the man carrying out those conversations, according to the report. Which is great; one reason they brought Lou in was because he has the reputation and salesmanship to get someone to believe again.
We’ll see how things go. That TSN story relays a lot of “people around the league” thinking maybe Tavares still goes to at least the one-week free agent flirtation period, where he can hear pitches from other teams beginning on June 24, though not sign with a non-Islanders team until July 1.
Think of it like a free agency pageant, where you finally get to hear what it’s like to be wooed by others, before deciding you are happy — or would prefer to be happy again — right at home.
It’s a thought. It’s a theory. It’s an eventuality Lou will try to keep from happening, because once June 24 arrives, things can go awry and all Frans Nielsen can break loose.
Add it to the annals.