Feb 28, 2018; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) during the third period against Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

John Tavares is the most intriguing player who may hit the open market when the NHL’s free agency period opens on July 1. To date, Tavares exploring free agency seemed like a near certainty. Now, that may not be the case as reports have surfaced that ongoing talks between the Islanders and the 27-year-old Tavares are taking place daily.

As Dreger notes, Tavares still has all of the flexibility in the world despite the daily conversations with the Isles.

Tavares’ decision will obviously be influenced by money, but he also needs to be convinced in the direction of the Islanders moving forward.

Given the questionable decisions the organization has made over the years both on and off the ice (and that’s putting things nicely), the team will have to convince Tavares that better times are ahead. They’ll need to figure out a plan that can surround Tavares with the needed talent to build a winner. That’ll include adding talent now and creating a plan for the future that adds some needed stability for the organization through draft picks and prospects.

Should the Isles not be able to convince Tavares, he’ll draw a ton of attention in free agency. His 37 goals in 2017-18 and his average of 76 points per season across the past four years makes him the kind of offensive talent that doesn’t come around too often. He’ll command a monstrous contract. What team doesn’t want a center with Tavares’ kind of contributions on offense?

Stay tuned. Tavares remaining with the Isles seemed like one of the most unlikely scenarios, but now it seems like a possibility if the organization is able to convince him that change is coming.

About David Rogers

Editor for The Comeback and Contributing Editor for Awful Announcing. Lover of hockey, soccer and all things pop culture.