Ahead of what’s shaping up to be a busy summer for the NHL, longtime New York Islanders superstar John Tavares is unquestionably the biggest fish in the free agent pond. Needless to say, there won’t be any shortage of suitors for the veteran center when the league’s free agent period begins on July 1.
The Islanders are +100 favorites to re-sign John Tavares.
According to BetOnline, the Islanders are the undisputed favorites to retain Tavares. New York has the best odds to sign the Mississauga, Ontario native with a price of +100, with the Vancouver Canucks (+500), Toronto Maple Leafs (+600), San Jose Sharks (+600), Vegas Golden Knights (+800), New York Rangers (+800), Montreal Canadiens (+1000) and St. Louis Blues (+2200) also expected to be major players in the sweepstakes.
Will Tavares be on the move?
Tavares, who’s accumulated 621 points (272 goals, 349 assists) in his nine-year tenure on Long Island, has become the face of the franchise for New York. The Islanders haven’t done a great job of surrounding him with much of a supporting cast in that span, however, as the club has three postseason appearances since he arrived, including only one playoff series triumph. Fresh off a 35-37-10 campaign that saw them finish outside of the playoff picture, it would be understandable if Tavares is interested in a change of scenery.
But the Islanders’ front office has done everything it could to make a run at re-signing the 27-year-old, bringing in well-respected hockey mind Lou Lamoriello to run the team while showing general manager Garth Snow and head coach Doug Weight the door in the process. Lamoriello, recognizing the long-term importance of the captain to the team, immediately went to work with Tavares’ camp to work on a new deal. New York can offer Tavares an eight-year contract, while other squads can give him seven at most.
Canadian clubs could be major players for Tavares
Tavares’ odds of staying put on Long Island look a lot better now than they did a few months ago, but there are some other intriguing betting options available. Considering Tavares is a proud Canuck who’s no stranger to representing his country in international events, it would make sense for him to come back to Canada and play for either the Maple Leafs, Canadiens or Canucks. The Sharks and Golden Knights are both well-run, have passionate fan bases and are in desirable locales, while the Rangers and Blues will have more than enough cap space to bring him in on a big contract.
Do you think Tavares will stay with the only franchise he’s ever known, or will he suiting up for a different team in 2018-19? Have your say in the comment section. For more betting information on the ice, head over to our NHL page.
Which NHL team will John Tavares play for in the 2018-19 season?
Odds as of June 13 at Bovada
- New York Islanders +100
- Vancouver Canucks +500
- Toronto Maple Leafs +600
- San Jose Sharks +600
- Vegas Golden Knights +800
- New York Rangers +800
- Montreal Canadiens +1000
- St. Louis Blues +2200