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Islanders News: Tavares chase, prospect camp, NHL free agents

Also: Plenty of drama elsewhere around the league

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2018 NHL Draft - Round One
“Yeah you go ahead and talk to my #91 and see what happens.”
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Hope you’re ready for it, folks. We’re in for the worst, most insufferable week we’’ see for some time as Islanders fans. Until John Tavares ultimately decides his fate, the teams that get to meet with him, their fans, and the media will salivate over him like wild dogs getting their first chance to pay $12 million a year for a meal.

Islanders Reading

Tavares is evidently with his agents in L.A. ready to hear pitches from other teams. Which teams? The Sharks...and four to six others, maybe. It seems to change a lot. One report has the Isles’ latest offer as $88 million over eight years. [LHH | FRS Hockey | The Athletic]

  • Imagining the dialog between all these teams and Tavares. [Vice]
  • The positive reviews from the Islanders’ draft continue to pour in. “I wouldn’t have swung on Ruslan Ishakov in the second round, and I have concerns about whether he will ever be a successful player on pro ice in North America at all, but the Islanders didn’t miss on Wahlstrom or Noah Dobson in the first round (they will both have a major impact on the future of the franchise)” [The Athletic]
  • The whole experience was a dream come true for top picks like Oliver Wahlstrom and Noah Dobson. [Isles] Here’s the “hockey card” treatment for all the Isles picks. [Isles]
  • More on Dobson, a proud “islanders” before he became an “Islander,” and whose parents are going to meet Lou. [P.E.I. Guardian]
  • Lou Lamoriello was pleased with the draft (and Bode Wilde accepted his drop into the second round in “is what it is” style), but Lou knows important work takes place this week in L.A. [Newsday]
  • Sad news: former Sound Tiger and Islanders draft pick Sergei Ogorodnikov has died in Russia, reportedly from a “water scooter accident.” [IIHF]
  • And lest we forget what else happens today: Qualifying offers due. Brock Nelson, Ryan Pulock (easy), Alan Quine, Shane Prince (decisions...) and Branden Davidson. [AndyGratz]
  • Oh also, prospect mini camp is this week. Public scrimmage is Thursday evening. [LHH]


Meanwhile, around the league there were some big-money signing— er, “agreed to terms.”

  • The Kings went three years with 35-year-old Ilya Kovalchuk, though it can’t be officially done until July 1. [JFTC] It’s a big-risk, big-reward move for the Kings. [NHL]
  • The Capitals reached terms with free agent John Carlson on an eight-year extension totaling $64 million. Offloading Brooks Orpik’s contract in the Grubauer deal sure helped. [Japers’ Rink]
  • While we’re all focused on Tavares, in Vegas their top free agents James Neal and David Perron are considering moving on after all. [Sportsnet]
  • Somehow Jack Johnson is in such high demand that teams will have to clear cap space for him. [@Aportzline]
  • The complicated Bergevin-Pacioretty mess in Montreal: “According to multiple sources, but not Pacioretty himself, the relationship between Bergevin and [he and Tavares’ agent Pat] Brisson had planted a seed of doubt in Pacioretty’s mind about the ability of his agent to adequately represent his own best interests.” [Athletic] Apparently Pacioretty vetoed an extension that would’ve enabled a trade to the Kings.
  • Dougie Hamilton was the prize acquisition for the Carolina Hurricanes, but they’re piling on him as a “bad fit” and “visitor to museums” in Calgary. [Sportsnet]
  • We’re at the point where there are too many sons of NHLers drafted to list them in one article. There were 14 this year, including Wendel Clark’s son (the focus of this feature), as well as Islanders’ pick Jacob Pivonka (not mentioned here). [NHL]
  • Winners (Isles, Kovalchuk) and losers (Flames) from the draft weekend. [Sportsnet]
  • Check out this draft pick out of England. Liam Kirk was selected by the Coyotes. [Five For Howling]