I’ve heard this rumor very quietly but very persistently proffered by both Wings scribes and others, and it’s worth noting not so much to make you or I dream of an unrealistic scenario, but as to note that it continues to make the rounds.
Newsday’s Andrew Gross penned an article handicapping the sweepstakes for New York Islanders captain John Tavares, should he not re-sign with the Isles, and Gross mentions a familiar destination as a possible landing spot:
Put another way, which team wouldn’t want Tavares? However, Tavares’ salary cap hit, his presumed preference for being as low key as possible and his stated desire to play for a winner would seem to eliminate some destinations. The Sharks, always in the playoff hunt, seem like a logical landing spot as a Joe Thornton replacement. The chance to play with Vladimir Tarasenko with the Blues may also be very attractive. The expansion Vegas Golden Knights are doing pretty well so far but, based on how far they get in the playoffs, could envision Tavares as a final piece to a Stanley Cup team. The Red Wings are likely to be active bidders as well and the Canucks, losing Henrik and Daniel Sedin to retirement may try to woo Tavares also.
And I would suggest that the Red Wings are a long shot in terms of landing Tavares, both cap-wise (the Wings have some cap space, but when you add up the costs of re-signing Andreas Athanasiou, Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha, signing a back-up goalie, and the high probability of the Wings retaining Mike Green, and that cap space disappears in a hurry) and in terms of what the Wings have to offer…
But this rumor has stuck around, as an undercurrent of sorts, prior to last July, and I’ve learned to discount lesser persistent rumors (see: Mike Green, Frans Nielsen, Stephen Weiss and even Luke Witkowski coming to Detroit) at my peril.
You should know by now that I don’t like to stir shit up to stir shit up, and I don’t want you to start dreaming of “JT” having to change his number come July 1st, but this is a legitimate possibility, as improbable as it might be.