John Tavares has reached the decision-making stage of his proceedings. I, personally, have reached the fourth of the five stages of grief, depression, in an attempt to shield any (a lot of) potential pain of him leaving - but do not read much into that. I don’t know a damn thing other than being an Islanders fan. What stage are you guys at?
In truth, I am very mildly optimistic about his chances of returning at this juncture. However, if he reaches Saturday unsigned, I will start to sweat (more than normal).
- Yes, as indicated, Tavares’ final meetings were yesterday, with the Dallas Stars and Tampa Bay Lightning. [NHL]
- His decision, whenever it hits the newswire, may have a snowball effect on the rest of the NHL. [Newsday]
- If he decides to leave the Isles, they will have to regroup and figure out what’s next. [The Athletic]
- If he does leave, it won’t be because the fans didn’t try. The Bagel Boss guy, now gaining hockey universe fame for sending bagels to CAA offices in Los Angeles, was on NHL Network yesterday.
- Calvin de Haan, set to be a UFA on July 1, has been in contact with the Islanders, but he’s also heard from many other teams, given the extremely slim pickings on the back end. Might be tough to keep him, which would suck. [LHH]
- If he does leave, his future replacement is turning heads at Rookie Camp. Noah Dobson, who scored better than a point-per-game in juniors this year as a defenseman, is catching the eyes of everyone this week. [Newsday]
- Kieffer Bellows is also impressing at Rookie Camp, and figures to challenge for an NHL roster spot this season. [Islanders]
- Yannick Rathgeb, a Swiss fellow that played three years in the OHL before playing back hoe, is looking to reach the NHL eventually. The Isles signed him back in April, and he’s at Rookie Camp trying to nail down a spot with the Sound Tigers. [CT Post]
Around the League
- The Calvin de Haan update originally came from Elliotte Friedman, who had that and a few other rumblings around the free agency carousel, including a flattering update on Artemi Panarin. [Sportsnet]
- Another league-wide rumbling is that the Penguins have a five (5!) year deal in place with Jack Johnson that will pay him about $3-3.5 million annually. [Pensburgh]
- To clear cap space for this deal (and for Riley Sheahan’s new deal), Pittsburgh traded Conor Sheary and Matt Hunwick to the Sabres for a conditional pick. Clearing cap space to throw a large contract at a guy that couldn’t even crack the third pair on the Blue Jackets is horrendous. [Pensburgh]
- Sheary was a good get for the Sabres, according to the numbers. But I think it’s fair to say that this is one of those situations where a player’s numbers may be inflated slightly due to the quality of teammate, so I’d be interested to see how he plays without Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin. [TSN]
- And the Penguins made a trade to clear cap space; will the Jets or Lightning be next? [TSN]
- The Blackhawks have shown interest in Cam Ward, Jonathan Bernier, and Carter Hutton, though Ward figures the most likely of the three goalies to sign there. [NHL]
- Nick Boynton and Daniel Carcillo slammed Gary Bettman’s induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame for his willful ignorance of the long-term risks associated with head injuries. Bettman has certainly done his part to grow the game, but they’re not wrong about the concussion issue. [Winnipeg Sun]
- And, in the world of unlikely friendships: former Dallas Stars Craig Ludwig and Richard Matvichuk were riding motorcycles back in the 1990s and stopped at a bar, where they ran in to Pantera drummer and co-founder Vinnie Paul. Paul and his brother “Dimebag Darrell” became close with the 90s Stars and even celebrated their 1999 Stanley Cup with them The old Stars are remembering their old friend as he passed away recently. [NHL]