Islanders’ John Tavares Listening to Pitches From Multiple Teams Before Free Agency Starts

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Tavares will become a free agent on July 1.

Islanders centerman John Tavares is listening to pitches from multiple teams leading up to free agency, his agent confirmed.

Tavares is expected to listen to pitches from at least five teams before he becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1, according to ESPN. The Sharks, Maple Leafs, Lightning, Golden Knights and Stars will likely be included in those talks.

While the Islanders hope that Tavares decides to re-sign with them, they support his decision to have discussions with other teams.

“I have no disappointment. No discouragement,” Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello said on Saturday at the NHL Draft in Dallas. “He’s earned every right to make whatever choice he has. The most important thing is that we hope in the end that he’s an Islander.”

Tavares, 27, has played all nine years of his career with the Islanders. He’s scored 621 points in 669 games, which includes 37 goals last season. 

As the face of the Islanders’ franchise, Tavares has previously expressed interest in staying with the team long-term.

“This is where I hope to be. I’ve always stated that,” Tavares told NBC Sports in April. “I’ve loved it here and people have really embraced me…definitely a lot of positives and I’ll have to take some time and figure out what I want to do and go from there.”

The Islanders have already started making moves to prepare for next season, highlighted by hiring coach Barry Trotz this week. Trotz resigned as head coach of the Capitals after leading the franchise to their first Stanley Cup win in history.

Lamoriello was hired in May as the president of hockey operations but took over as GM when GM Garth Snow and coach Doug Weight were fired.

The Islanders are now hoping they’ve done enough to convince their star player to return.

“There’s been a commitment from ownership,” Lamoriello said. “They want us to be the best team in the NHL, and they gave me the authority to do that. The first decision was to get a coach, and in my opinion, we got one of the best ones in the NHL. Now we have to convince our player that this is the best decision for him.”

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