NHL Rumors: Tavares, Maroon, Duchene, Stone, More

In today’s rumor rundown insiders are trying to get inside the mind of John Tavares and assess why he really left the Islanders for Toronto, the Ottawa Senators just saw the price of their own players go with with the Nikita Kucherov deal and Patrick Maroon turned down huge money and had to settle for his deal in St. Louis, the same team who’d offered him more just a week earlier.

Why Did Tavares Change His Mind?

After a touching letter to Islanders fans John Tavares got the chance to thank everyone who helped him grow and become the NHL player he is today as part of the Islanders’ organization. It was a tasteful and classy way to end things. Unfortunately, despite Tavares choosing Toronto, questions are still being asked as to why and people are trying to dissect the letter, breaking down his thought process.

John Tavares Islanders
New York Islanders center John Tavares (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Jimmy Murphy recently tweeted a source came to him and presented a different take, explaining that while Tavares might have wrestled with the decision to leave the Islanders, it was the change in management that ultimately swayed him. Murphy cited, “Your tweet earlier on  staying if Garth and Doug stay is right. Tavares didn’t want Lou and I don’t think Lou wanted JT and that contract.”

What’s being suggested here is that Lou Lamoriello was the reason Tavares is no longer in New York even though speculation was Lamoriello was brought in to encourage Tavares to stay. It seems difficult to fathom the idea Lou would be added knowing he wasn’t wanting that big money contract, especially when he was vocal about his distaste for the free agency interview process but it is possible Tavares had an attachment to Weight that is being undervalued.

Related: NHL Rumors: Pacioretty, Karlsson, Goldobin, More

Mark Stone and Matt Duchene Now Worth $7.5MM Plus?

Don Brennon of the Ottawa Sun writes with the Tampa Bay Lightning locking up Nikita Kucherov for $9.5 million per season, Senators forwards Mark Stone and Matt Duchene will seek somewhere between $7.5 to $8 million range per season over eight years.  Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reports there haven’t been any serious contract discussions between the Senators and Stone but that his filing for arbitration could move things along in that regard.

Matt Duchene Ottawa Senators
Ottawa Senators center Matt Duchene (Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)

The Maroon Deal Wasn’t the First Offer

Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic writes that Patrick Maroon’s deal in St. Louis was not the first offer made to the winger. It shocked many that Maroon would sign for such a low number after speculation was he was seeking a lengthier and more substantial contract. Rutherford writes:

The team had met with native St. Louisan Pat Maroon earlier in free agency, and made a substantial multi-year offer, but the 6-foot-3, 225-pound left winger had more lucrative options. As he contemplated, the Blues signed Perron and Calgary closed on a five-year, $28.7 million contract with James Neal, leaving Maroon with fewer potential destinations. He switched agents, joining Ben Hankinson after 15 years with Allain Roy, and re-evaluated the remaining clubs with interest.

source “Pat Maroon’s signing caps GM Doug Armstrong’s big summer — but he knows the real work is still to come” – Jeremy Rutherford – The Athletic – 07/11/2018

Patrick Maroon, New Jersey Devils
New Jersey Devils left wing Patrick Maroon (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

The offer was believed to be in the $3-4 million range but because he had better offers from other teams, the Blues moved forward without him.

Maroon switched agents, re-evaluated things, and signed the one-year deal with the Blues ($1.75 million). Maroon said while he found the process of being a free agent stressful and it didn’t necessarily pan out the way he’s originally intended, he’s now happy with a one-year deal, a chance to prove himself, earn a bigger payday next summer and be with a team who really wants him. He believes this is the start of a life-changing opportunity.

Related: NHL Rumors: Kucherov, Bjugstad, Lamoriello, More

Options for the Boston Bruins

Cameron Kerry of WEEI suggested three potential free agent forward options for the Bruins: Rick Nash, Mark Letestu, and Mike Cammalleri.

Nash was always rumored to be on the radar of the Bruins should he decide to return to the NHL, but Letestu and Cammalleri are both interesting options considering their age and previous seasons in the league. Letestu could offer some center depth where the Bruins are a touch weak and Cammalleri could be considered an offensive option but likely not a regular in the lineup.