The team captain’s long-term future in Brooklyn remains an open question, as the 26-year-old has just one year remaining on his contract.
“There were reports this week that if the New York Islanders aren’t moving towards a contract with John Tavares in June, they will look at trading him,” said Elliotte Friedman during the Headlines segment on Hockey Night in Canada.
Friedman added that rumours have surfaced about the possibility that the team is trying to find a way to woo Tavares by wooing his agent — a story that has popped up before.
“Pat Brisson, Tavares’s agent, was in New York this week,” Friedman explained. “Now, last summer it was reported that they offered Brisson the job running their hockey ops and more in their organization. There were rumours this week when Brisson was there that they were trying to do it again in order to make Tavares feel better.”
Despite the rumours, though, Friedman added: “Brisson says that’s not true and he’s not going to be doing that.”
Whether or not the Islanders will trade Tavares if he doesn’t re-sign, it’s at least clear, said Nick Kypreos, that locking Tavares down is at the top of the agenda.
“I think the new ownership group knows how important this is,” Kypreos said. “Of course their top priority is finding a new home in the next few years, but the second one, and might run neck-and-neck, is getting Tavares on a long-term deal.”