John Tavares isn’t about to make the most important decision of his NHL career without doing his homework.
The 27-year-old center, who has spent the past nine seasons as the face of the New York Islanders, is expected to become an unrestricted free agent Sunday. And he reportedly is hearing pitches from at least five teams, including the Boston Bruins.
But Tavares won’t enter these meetings clueless — far from it, in fact.
“Tavares is a meticulous guy who spent the last couple months reviewing his options and had a 77-page book prepared that contained a deep dive into each of the organizations he was most likely to find appealing,” Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston wrote in a column published Tuesday.
That’s one way to ensure you make a well-informed decision.
Tavares heard a lengthy, “well-prepared presentation” from the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday, according to Johnston, as well as a two-hour-plus pitch from the Islanders that left the team’s brass “smiling on their way out the door.”
Next up are meetings with the Bruins and San Jose Sharks on Tuesday, then sit-downs with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars on Wednesday, per TSN’s Darren Dreger.
Tavares is a perennial 30-goal scorer who rarely misses games. As one of the best all-around players in the NHL, he likely will fetch a massive contract on the free agent market, assuming he makes it there.
And although any team would love to have player of Tavares’ caliber, one club might be a better fit than the rest.
Thumbnail photo via Stephen R. Sylvanie/USA TODAY Sports Images