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Tavares meets with Maple Leafs, Islanders in Los Angeles: report

Pending free agent center will also talk to Bruins, Lightning, Sharks, Stars

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

John Tavares met with the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Islanders in Los Angeles on Monday, TSN reported.

The 27-year-old center can become an unrestricted free agent Sunday. He reportedly will meet with the San Jose Sharks and Boston Bruins on Tuesday, followed by the Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars on Wednesday.

Tavares will speak over the phone to an additional two or three teams, who could then earn an in-person meeting, TSN said.

 

[RELATED: NHL Summer Buzz: Tavares to meet with at least six teams]

 

The maximum contract he can receive from any team other than the Islanders is seven years; New York can offer him eight years and can sign him at any time.

Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan, general manager Kyle Dubas and coach Mike Babcock were in Los Angeles to meet with Tavares and agent Pat Brisson.

Tweet from @JohnLuTSNMtl: #Leafs delegation has left the CAA offices. Meeting with Tavares��� camp was approximately 2 hours. Dubas to the media in attendance: ���Would love to talk to you, but I can���t now.���#TSN #FreeAgentFrenzy pic.twitter.com/wopJLQzmjv

It is believed co-owner Scott Malkin, GM Lou Lamoriello and coach Barry Trotz, who was hired Thursday after winning the Stanley Cup with the Washington Capitals, were representing the Islanders.

Lamoriello was hired as president of hockey operations on May 22, and he fired GM Garth Snow and coach Doug Weight on June 5.

"I have no disappointment, no discouragement," Lamoriello said Saturday of Tavares meeting with other teams. "I think that he's earned every right to make whatever choice he has. The most important thing is, we hope that the decision is to be an Islander.

"There's been a commitment from ownership, Scott Malkin, that he wanted this franchise to be the best in the National Hockey League, and he gave me the authority to go out and do whatever's necessary to do that. And the first decision certainly was to get a coach. And in my opinion, we got one of the best coaches in the National Hockey League. Now we have to do is certainly convince our player that this is the right situation for him. But he has to make that decision."

Tavares, second on the Islanders in goals (37) and points (84) this season, has scored at least 30 goals in three of the past four seasons. Center Mathew Barzal, who won the Calder Trophy as the NHL rookie of the year, led New York with 85 points (22 goals, 63 assists), and forward Anders Lee was the Islanders' top goal-scorer with an NHL career-high 40.

Video: Elliotte Friedman on potential offseason moves

New York has qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs three times in Tavares' nine seasons with the Islanders, but not since 2016, when his goal in double overtime of Game 6 in the Eastern Conference First Round against the Florida Panthers gave them their first series victory since 1993.

"This is obviously where I hope to be. I've always stated that," Tavares said April 9, two days after the Islanders' season ended. "But obviously, I have some time to think about my situation and go from there.

"I've loved it here. The people have really embraced me, the team, the organization. It's been first class since I've gotten here. There's obviously some great talent and some great things ahead. Definitely a lot of positives. I'll obviously have to take some time and figure out what I want to do and go from there."

Tavares has 621 points (272 goals, 349 assists), fifth in Islanders history and the most of any player who wasn't part of New York's four consecutive Stanley Cup championship teams from 1980-83. He has led the Islanders in scoring in seven of his nine NHL seasons and has finished no lower than second.

Tweet from @DarrenDreger: San Jose and Boston will present to John Tavares tomorrow in LA. The Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars will deliver their pitch on Wed.

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