In a follow-up story about New York Islanders and John Tavares upcoming free agency, The Athletic’s Arthur Staple (subscription required) writes that the Islanders’ Lou Lamoriello left the draft to fly to Los Angeles to be nearby while Tavares meets with the teams that he and his representatives have invited to speak with him. Lamoriello will meet with Tavares last in hopes of keeping the superstar in the fold.
As reported earlier, it is believed that he will meet with the Toronto Maple Leafs, San Jose Sharks, and Dallas Stars and possibly the Tampa Bay Lightning, Vegas Golden Knights and the Montreal Canadiens, although that isn’t too clear so far. However, Staples writes that an earlier rumor today that the Islanders made an eight-year, $88MM deal may not be accurate. He believes in the end, whether offered by the Islanders or another team, that Tavares will be making $12MM per year, which Lamoriello has said that ownership has said that money is no object.
- Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reported that the Carolina Hurricanes intend to keep defenseman Dougie Hamilton, who the team acquired in the five-player trade earlier today. The scribe said the team had no intention of flipping the blueliner for more assets. Hamilton should provide the team with a No. 1 defenseman to go with their core of young blueliners. The six-year veteran is only just 25 years old and put up 17 goals and 44 points last season.
- Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic (subscription required) writes that the Carolina Hurricanes were supposedly close on sending winger Victor Rask to the Montreal Canadiens, but the asking price of two second-round picks in this draft (including the No. 35 pick) was too much for the Canadiens. The 25-year-old winger still has four years at $4MM AAV and seems to have regressed somewhat since a 21 goal season back in 2015-16.
- The New York Rangers had three first-round picks in this latest draft with much speculation wondering if general manager Jeff Gorton would use those picks as assets to either acquire a pro-ready player or even to move up in the draft. Instead, the Rangers used all three picks (albeit, they traded up late in the first-round). NHL.com’s Dan Rosen reports that Gorton said he was never close to making a deal this weekend. Gorton said he was ready to change his draft strategy if he got a trade offer he liked, but never got one. “I would say there was probably less conversations than I anticipated,” Gorton said.