John Tavares will meet with five teams when the free agent interview period opens tomorrow, according to various reports.
The New York Post’s Larry Brookes was first to break the story on Saturday morning and John Tavares’ agent Pat Brisson later confirmed the news to The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun. Tavares’ decision doesn’t come as a total surprise considering how far things have come without the Islanders locking up the team’s star player to a new contract.
The free agency period opens up next Sunday.
It is believed The Dallas Stars, Toronto Maple Leafs, and San Jose Sharks will be guaranteed meetings with Tavares and company, according to the Athletic. The Tampa Bay Lightning and Los Angeles Kings could also be among the teams to meet with the pending UFA.
The news is a bit of a blow to Islanders fans, who had been becoming accustomed to good news over the last month.
Tavares’ decision to meet with teams is just the latest turn in the captain’s contract saga that has gone on for the past year. Tavares played the 2017-18 season without signing a new deal and never indicated if or when he would sign an extension.