The most popular man on the free agent market is meeting with 5 teams this week in LA to discuss a possible contract. Those five teams are San Jose, Dallas, Toronto, Tampa, Boston, and of course the New York Islanders.
Tavares has done his research on each of the teams he’s meeting with, but how will he choose where to go? First of all he’s probably going to go somewhere that will give him the best opportunity to win the Cup. Who has the best opportunity out of the five teams listed? Tampa, Boston, and San Jose. Second of all he’ll go where he gets paid the most and has the most assets. Any of these teams can probably pay him what he wants so someone will have to go above and beyond.
Lets take a look at each of the potential suitors for Tavares.
First, we’re going to talk about the Boston Bruins. Boston has a strong desire to get themselves back into the Stanley Cup Finals. John Tavares could be a perfect fit in Boston. For Johnny T to land in Boston though, Bruins management may have to do some maneuvering. Tavares wants a big contract. Right now the Bruins can offer him what he wants but they may have to move David Krejci and/or David Backes.
Boston has one of the highest chances at winning the Cup next season, if Tavares notices that then we may see him in Boston alongside his pal Patrice Bergeron.
The Dallas Stars are ready to make a serious playoff run. If they acquire Tavares, they will instantly be a Cup favorite. Tavares would be skating alongside the likes of Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, Alexander Radulov, John Klingberg, and more. That puts him in great company. The problem with Tavares going to the Stars is that many teams in the West are already stacked and are much better than Dallas.
Tavares would make the Stars a much better team but I think other teams pursuing him can offer him more than Dallas.
San Jose is ready to make their Cup dreams come alive. Joe Thornton, Evander Kane, Brent Burns, Martin Jones, and who knows, maybe even John Tavares could bring a Cup to San Jose.
My real question though, is San Jose really the hockey market that Tavares wants to go to? I’d say the other teams in the running for Tavares have a better market than San Jose. I just really don’t see him going to San Jose.
The Lightning are probably very high on Tavares’ list. Tampa has been a strong contender over the past 5 years and theres no sign of them slowing down. If they win the Tavares sweepstakes then I think we’ll be seeing them make a return to the Stanley Cup Finals.
I feel that the Lightning have everything Tavares is looking for. A good team, great coaching, and great management. They also have a pretty good hockey market so I can only imagine Tavares would want to go to Tampa.
Toronto is where Tavares grew up, of course he’d want to go back home and play in front of his family and friends all the time. But, the Leafs have a long history of choking in big moments, Tavares won’t like that. I would say Toronto is a serious Cup contender but after years and years of disappointment, it’s hard for me to say that.
I’d say Toronto sits in the middle of Tavares’ list. It’s his hometown, but he has better options with better teams pursuing him.
Toronto does have a great young core in Matthews, Nylander, and Marner though. Tavares could see it as an opportunity to lead a younger group of guys to a Stanley Cup. Either way, Tavares is strongly considering Toronto.
I think it’ll come down to three teams. Tampa, Toronto, and Boston. Those three teams will give Tavares the best opportunity at winning a Cup very soon. Of course the Islanders are still in the mix as Tavares has played his whole career there. If Tavares doesn’t sign with the three teams I stated above then I think he’ll be back with the Islanders.
Photo: Sporting News