A deal between Tavares - who becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1 - and the Islanders could reportedly happen quickly. However, if contracts talks stall, he will have the opportunity to consider options during his interview period, Dreger adds.
Over the last few weeks, general manager Lou Lamoriello has been meeting with Tavares and has outlined his vision for the Islanders' future, according to Dreger.
There will certainly be no shortage of teams throwing their name in the ring to try and sign Tavares if he does indeed hit the open market. The advantage the Islanders have is that they can offer him an eight-year extension, whereas outside clubs can only offer as much as a seven-year contract.
Tavares is coming off a six-year, $33-million deal and is in line for a raise that is likely to be in the $10 million annually range. This past season was his second-most productive in terms of offense, which saw the 27-year-old post 37 goals and 84 points in 82 games.
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