The 2017 offseason has many questions that everybody is asking, but one of the most important question that is being asked is does John Tavares get traded? Tavares has been a consistent hockey player since being drafted first overall in the 2009 NHL Draft. With the Islanders struggling and this is the last year that Tavares is under contract with them, it makes it interesting to see what way the Islanders go about this. Yes, we all understand that Tavares has a no movement clause, but he can waive his no movement clause if he feels that one team that is interested in him is the right fit for him to be able to compete for a Stanley Cup.
Obviously there are teams around the league that would love to have Tavares to be a part of their roster with the amount of talent that he has. Also he is a great locker room guy and could help bring a better all-around feeling in the locker room. There are several teams that can make trades for Tavares this offseason/season before he is set to become a free agent. The teams that can make the trades have valuable assets, and players that can help a franchise like the New York Islanders turn around. However, first and foremost, Tavares would have to be willing to waive his NMC, or no deal ever gets done.
Then there are other teams that don't have the assets or cap space to be able to acquire Tavares via trade. Those teams will not be able to trade for him, and will not be able to sign him long term to an extension. With that being said here are the 8 teams that can trade for John Tavares and 7 that can't.
15 Would - Los Angeles Kings
The Los Angeles Kings are an intriguing team that could be able to make a trade to acquire John Tavares. The Kings have a good foundation already, but the addition to Tavares could make the Kings a good team for the next ten or so years. The Islanders asking price for Tavares is definitely going to be a big one, but the Kings are one team that have some high end prospects that could help make this deal.
The Kings "should" give the Islanders their 2017 first round pick, their 2018 second round pick, two prospects (Jack Campbell, and Adrian Kempe), and add an established player in Tanner Pearson in order to grab Tavares from New York. Adrian Kempe is the number one prospect in the L.A. Kings system, and Jack Campbell is a young goaltender with tremendous upside. Tanner Pearson has been somewhat successful in the NHL for the Kings, and could be a big help for the Islanders.
With that being said the Kings have plenty of room to improve and a chance to get Tavares would definitely be one of them.
14 Won't - Buffalo Sabres
The Buffalo Sabres are one team on the can't list that could actually be able to trade for Tavares, but even if they did it just wouldn't work out. The Sabres have some good young talent in Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart, Rasmus Ristolainen, and company but they will want to build a foundation around those three young talents. The Islanders will look to at least get one NHL ready guy in return along with draft picks, which Buffalo has but they will want to build around them not trade them away.
The Sabres already look like they would like to have Tavares especially if they can keep their young core around as well. Buffalo doesn't seem like a place where Tavares would sign a long-term extension and he definitely would not be put in the best situation to win a Stanley Cup there as well.
13 Would - Nashville Predators
Coming off of their first Stanley Cup Final appearance, even though it was a loss to Pittsburgh the Predators are definitely a potential team that could trade for John Tavares. With the talent that they already have on that team in P.K. Subban, James Neal, Filip Forsberg, and company the Predators can give away a couple draft picks and some prospects to grab themselves Tavares. Nashville is definitely looking like a place where free agents are going to start wanting to sign with, and if they can get Tavares they will already be heavy favorites to come out of the Western Conference again.
An ideal trade that will help out both sides is for the Predators to give up their 2017 first round pick, their 2018 first round pick two prospects (Juuse Saros, Vladislav Kamenev) and Colton Sissons for John Tavares and their 2018 first round pick. The Predators are legitimate threats to not allowing Pittsburgh to three-peating, but they definitely need Tavares to help them achieve the task at hand.
12 Wouldn't - Columbus Blue Jackets
The Columbus Blue Jackets shocked the world last season by having their best season in franchise history. With John Tavares being available the Blue Jackets would be crazy not to try and make a trade for him right? Well the Blue Jackets have a young foundation and already have created chemistry so why ruin a good thing. I am not saying that Tavares is a bad influence in the locker room because he is far from it, but I am saying that sometimes when a group of guys play together and they perform well you try and maintain them in order to achieve the goal of winning a Stanley Cup.
The Blue Jackets do have young talent and could move draft picks to get Tavares, but with the situation of still being in the same division as the Penguins it does not seem likely that Tavares would sign long term with Columbus. Look for the Blue Jackets to be an interesting team in 2017-18, but a John Tavares trade to Columbus seems very unlikely.
11 Would - Anaheim Ducks
The Anaheim Ducks are an interesting option for a team that could trade for John Tavares. Anaheim seems like a great fit for Tavares especially since they have Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, and Ryan Kesler all on the same team at the moment. Now I understand what you are already thinking how can they trade for Tavares and not trade one of those three players? Well, the Ducks do have some good young assests that can be put into the trade for Tavares.
One trade that could help out both sides is if Anaheim sends Shea Theodore, Cam Fowler, Nick Ritchie, and their 2018 first round pick for John Tavares. Two prospects and one pick doesn't sound like a lot, but the impact that Theodore and Fowler can have on a game in the defensive end can be huge for the Islanders. Look for the Ducks to be considered one of the teams that can trade for Tavares without moving a key piece. Tavares would likely jump at the chance to play in warm weather and with a supporting cast capable of bringing him a Stanley Cup.
10 Wouldn't - Dallas Stars
One team that could make sense is the Dallas Stars, but then you sit down and think about it there is no reason why he would want to sign long-term in Dallas. Also there is no trade that would work that would benefit both sides. The Stars don' t have the best of prospects currently in there system, but they do have a plethora of draft picks including Anaheim's first round pick this season.
Plus Dallas needs help on the blue line they do not really need to add anymore talent up front. Also the Stars have five talented centers currently under contract for next season so there is no reason to add Tavares due to lack of centers. Dallas is not a team that can or needs to trade for Tavares due to different scenarios that will prevent talks from advancing to nothing more than rumors.
9 Would - Philadelphia Flyers
The Philadelphia Flyers could use another talented center like John Tavares to add on to their current team. Philadelphia has some prospects that they have that are currently/or have played in the NHL already so that is a promising aspect that can help their case of being able to trade for Tavares. Yes, they are in the same division as the Islanders are in and why would they trade him to Philadelphia. The case is that the Flyers have the assets that can help the Islanders with their rebuild.
The hypothetical trade that could work is Philadelphia will send their 2017 first round pick, their 2018 second round pick, their 2017 third round pick via Boston, Ivan Provorov, Nick Cousins, and Sean Couturier for John Tavares. Look for the Flyers to be hungry not only this off season, but in the talks for a potential blockbuster trade that can get them John Tavares.
8 Wouldn't - Vancouver Canucks
With Vancouver currently going through a rebuilding phase, and the thought of the Sedins leaving after next season does not make Vancouver a great place for high marquee talent like John Tavares would like to play for. Vancouver has assets, but they don't need Tavares and they should not try to trade for Tavares. The Canucks don't have the NHL ready talent that could attract the Islanders to a deal that would make them want to trade Tavares to the Canucks.
Vancouver needs to get talent as soon as possible in order for the rebuild to get under way, and with them giving up some of their young talent for Tavares just does not make sense. Not only does Tavares not have interest in playing in Vancouver, but the Islanders will not trade him unless the price is right and the price that the Islanders are asking for is not one that fits the Vancouver Canucks.
7 Would - San Jose Sharks
The San Jose Sharks seem to be moving on from veterans Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, but what better way to do that then to be able to trade for a star in his prime like John Tavares. Tavares has some of his Team Canada teammates on this team, and just the thought of a trio consisting of Joe Pavelski, John Tavares, and Logan Couture sounds like not only a deadly power play trio, but like a trio that can help compete for a Stanley Cup Final.
One hypothetical trade that would work for both sides especially since San Jose doesn't have a lot of picks at the moment is Tomas Hertl, prospects (Timo Meier, and Dan O'Regan) to go along with the San Jose's 2018 first round pick, and their 2019 second round pick for John Tavares. The young talent that is included in this trade could help the Islanders turn things around sooner rather than later, and they can get assets that can help them in the long run, rather than short term. Tavares would in turn, get a legit shot at a Cup, while playing in a player-friendly market.
6 Wouldn't - Minnesota Wild
Things have been looking good in Minnesota since they signed both Ryan Suter and Zach Parise both to 13 year deals. The Wild have made the playoffs for the first five seasons that they have been in Minnesota, so why would they need to trade for Tavares. One reason could be to be able to take that next step to the Stanley Cup Final, but then again the chemistry this team has already why potentially ruin it by bringing in John Tavares.
Tavares is a great guy outside of hockey, and is a great guy on the ice as well. Minnesota doesn't seem like the right fit for his goal of achieving to win a Stanley Cup Final. Minnesota is a great place to play, but the fact of the matter is that there is no reason why the Wild should trade for Tavares. The Wild will be contending for years to come, just not with John Tavares on their team.
5 Would - Edmonton Oilers
The Edmonton Oilers are back after one of their better seasons in recent memory, and the potential addition of John Tavares would be big time for this up and coming team. Tavares is from Canada and this is one of the Canadian teams that would make sense for him to go to. The thought of John Tavares, Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and company on the same team is unbelievable to think about.
The trade that could work for both sides is Edmonton sending their 2017 first round pick, their 2018 second round pick, Adam Larsson, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Jordan Eberle for John Tavares. Think of that trade at this perspective the Islanders not only get two draft picks, but they get a top six forward in Nugent-Hopkins and a solid defenseman in Adam Larsson and a goalscorer in Eberle.
With Tavares, the Oilers could then keep Draisaitl on the wing and go with a one-two punch of McDavid and Tavares up the middle. The thought of Tavares playing in Edmonton already makes them a legitimate contender in my eyes, and should be one trade that both sides should look at doing.
4 Wouldn't - Boston Bruins
To all the Boston fans that think even in the slightest chance that they can get Tavares, I am here to tell you that there is no chance. The Bruins do have one of the better farm systems in the league, but there is no need to blow that up for a guy that plays a position that you have more than enough of. Center is the one position that the Bruins definitely do not need help in due to the fact that they already have Bergeron, Krejci, and more young talent at the center position.
The Bruins are in fact one team that not only doesn't need John Tavares, but they don't even need to think of even taking a chance of trading their top prospects for him. Boston the future is bright for you, don't blow it away on one guy even if it is John Tavares. Plus, Tavares wants to win now, and likely wouldn't want to wait around for Boston to emerge as a contender.
3 Would - Tampa Bay Lightning
The Tampa Bay Lightning definitely have a realistic shot of being able to trade for John Tavares. Thinking of the Lightning having both Tavares, and Stamkos on the same team doesn't sound fair. Those two high talented guys on the same roster not only means that they have the opportunity to play not only on the same line, but the same power play unit as well which is scary to think about.
A trade that could work for both sides is for Tampa Bay to send their 2017 second round pick via Toronto, their 2018 first round pick, their 2018 fourth round pick via Pittsburgh, prospects Adam Erne, Anthony DeAngelo, and Dennis Yan for John Tavares. We understand that it is a lot for Tampa Bay to give up for Tavares, but if you think of the addition that he would be to Stamkos, Kucherov, and the potential of Tyler Johnson, and Ondrej Palat means that Tampa Bay's offense would be a deadly combination and teams around the league would struggle with them.
2 Can't - Chicago Blackhawks
The team that is for maneuvering around their roster every year to be able to contend for a Stanley Cup Final. This is not one of those years though, as the Blackhawks have several critical guys that have no movement clauses in their contract, but they also have limited cap space for the upcoming season. The Blackhawks would love to be able to have a talent like John Tavares on their roster, but there is no way possible that they are able to move pieces around to get him to Chicago via a trade.
John Tavares would have one of the better chances in the NHL of winning a Stanley Cup while playing for Chicago, but with their core presumably set the move for Tavares to Chicago is highly unlikely.
The Blackhawks and Tavares look like a match made in heaven, but there are no realistic scenarios that can make that happen. Yes Tavares wants to win, but a certain part of him has to want to be compensated fairly and Chicago can't do that.
1 Can - Toronto Maple Leafs
The most likely and realistic scenario for the trade of John Tavares to happen is none other than the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Maple Leafs have already been linked to John Tavares as a likely spot for him to sign in free agency, but if the Maple Leafs can get him for the 2017-2018 season, why not take a chance. With Tavares more likely than not to sign an extension with Toronto it only makes sense that the Islanders should try and contact the Maple Leafs for this potential block buster trade.
The trade that would work for both sides is Toronto sending their 2017 second round pick via Ottawa, their 2018 first round pick, two prospects (Kasperi Kapanen and Connor Brown), to go along with one of Tyler Bozak and Nazem Kadri for John Tavares.
This trade helps both sides because the Maple Leafs get their veteran leader in Tavares, and the Islanders get a great return for him. Look for the Maple Leafs to be big time players this offseason and to have one of the better chances of being able to trade for John Tavares.... if he'd ever ask to be traded that is.