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Tavares moving on from Islanders: report

Free agent center not re-signing with New York after becoming unrestricted free agent

by Mike Battaglino / NHL.com Staff Writer

John Tavares informed the New York Islanders on Sunday that he will not re-sign with them, The Athletic reported.

Tavares became an unrestricted free agent at 12 p.m. ET Sunday. The longest contract he can sign with any team is seven years. He could have signed an eight-year contract with the Islanders before Sunday.

The 27-year-old center, who was the No. 1 pick in the 2009 NHL Draft by New York, met with six teams last week in Los Angeles.

 

[RELATED: Tavares could become one of most desirable free agents in NHL history]

 

The Islanders, Boston Bruins, Dallas Stars, San Jose Sharks, Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs each made a presentation to Tavares during the NHL interview period that began on June 24.

In the modern era of NHL free agency, which began in 1995, a No. 1 pick had never chosen to leave the team that drafted him to sign with another.

Tweet from @FriedgeHNIC: Officially, there is confirmation John Tavares did not sign last night...he is now eligible for maximum a seven-year deal.

Tavares had 84 points (37 goals, 47 assists) last season for the Islanders, who missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a second straight season. He has led the Islanders in scoring in seven of his nine NHL seasons and has finished no lower than second.

He has 621 points (272 goals, 349 assists) in 669 NHL games during nine seasons, fifth in Islanders history but first among players who weren't part of their four consecutive Stanley Cup-winning teams from 1980-83. He has been captain since the start of the 2013-14 season and was a finalist for the Hart Trophy given to the NHL's most valuable player in 2013 and 2015.

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