When it comes to NHL rumors about New York's John Tavares, there could be quite a few teams trying to land the Islanders' player in a deal for next season. Tavares could easily become the league's highest-paid player and it could end up being for the other New York team, or possibly another contender such as the Toronto Maple Leafs. In fact, a recent report suggested that there are about eight teams that have a shot at signing John Tavares to a deal, including his current franchise.
In a recent ESPN feature story, Greg Wyshynski points out the main reasons why each of eight NHL teams could or couldn't work for John Tavares as a landing spot next season. Wyshynski contends that New York is clearly home to the NHL star, and that would mean either staying with the Islanders or possibly joining the New York Rangers in the offseason. It's mentioned that there's the potential for some arena issues with the Islanders which could be the biggest deterrent for Tavares staying as a member of their team. However, the team has the right personnel for Tavares to pursue a Stanley Cup championship with the team he has been loyal to.
Then there's the New York Rangers. The key attraction for Tavares to join the other team in his home region is the fact that they are primed for a championship run with their current roster and also have the talent to do well in the future. However, the drawback for Tavares would be the fact that he prefers his privacy away from the ice, and in one of the biggest and most vicious sports media cities, deciding to play for the other team in the city would put a major target on his back.
The Detroit Red Wings are also mentioned as an option. They aren't exactly looking like the strongest of contenders at this point, but adding Tavares to the roster could help. As Wyshynski indicates, Tavares would give the Red Wings the closest caliber of a hockey player to Steve Yzerman they've ever had. In addition, the team has just begun playing this season in their brand new venue, Little Caesar's Arena. If the Islanders end up having issues with their arena situation and Tavares decides to leave for a new team, he'd find a team with a solid venue in place as they move towards the future.If all that wasn't enough, he'd be reunited with a former teammate in Frans Nielsen. As mentioned, the team isn't really a contender now, and might not be for a while. There's also the fact that they don't have an ideal salary situation moving into the future. Some of their younger players will be looking for new contracts and the franchise doesn't have a ton of wiggle room to negotiate with them, let alone bringing in other stars.
So who are the other five teams that John Tavares could join this summer? Other contenders in the "Tavares sweepstakes" could include the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks, and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Of those teams, both Toronto and Tampa Bay look like strong contenders now, and with the addition of Tavares, they'd become even stronger. However, it will all come down to his current team's situation and whether or not the deal is best for the Islanders star.