Image result for john tavaresPhoto Credit: Paul Sancya/AP

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

John Tavares season is progressing into full swing mode as the star New York Islanders center is set to meet with other NHL teams during his free-agent decision-making process. Arthur Staple of The Athletic New York got the buzz going even more when sent out the tweet below last night.

(Via @StapeAthletic on Twitter)

Pierre LeBrun, also of the Athletic, built on the news this morning.

(Via @PierreVLeBrun on Twitter)

Darren Dreger of TSN also added to the news in relation to the Bruins.

(Via @DarrenDreger on Twitter)

A player of John Tavares’ caliber would transcend any franchise and become an immediate leader. In the case of the Boston Bruins, he would be joining a team in contender mode with plenty of young talent surrounding him for years to come, as well as players who have seen regular season and playoff success over the years.

A Bruins top-six forward core next year could look something like this next year if Tavares does sign in Boston.

Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak

DeBrusk – Tavares – Bjork

At this point, I think those six players are the guys that could form a top-six forward core that teams will be terrified of no matter how DeBrusk, Bjork, and Pastrnak specifically are shuffled around. I don’t think there is much debate that Marchand and Bergeron should be together. Tavares would have so much to offer anyone on the team, not just the young players. The skating abilities, smarts, and impressive skill sets of the guys rounding out the top-six outside of Tavares could make the transition easier for him with time.

The Bruins currently have $11,984,333 in cap space, possibly enough to sign John Tavares, as the odds are very high, if not certain that he will fetch a minimum of $10 million per year. That figure is staggering but absolutely worth it for a star player like John Tavares.

To accommodate a large contract for Tavares long-term, some salary would need to be moved out. The consensus is to move David Krejci if he is willing to waive his NMC, and/or David Backes. Two players that would be tough to part ways with regardless of what people think, but have garnered interest on the trade market. Krejci has been through so much with the Bruins over the years, and Backes signed a six-year deal with the Bruins that has been rocky at times with injuries.

Via @andystrickland on Twitter)

Another player who could be traded is Adam McQuaid, whose contract expires next summer. With the significant presence of NHL defenders and fringe NHL defenders in the system, McQuaid could be moved to a team in need of defensive depth. But, at this point, it is just speculation although there is a reasonable case to trade him, as hard as that may be for management in Boston. McQuaid, Krejci, and Backes have all played important roles with the teams over their tenures here. In the end, to make the Tavares signing work long-term with a hefty, young RFA class in Boston next summer, one, if not multiple of these three players may need to be moved.

His skill set is tremendous – excellent hands, skating, vision, playmaking ability, puck control, and the ability to score in any fashion. There isn’t really anything to pick apart in his game. This past season, he put up the second highest point total of his nine-year NHL career with 84 points (37-47-84) in 82 games. In 24 career playoff games, he has 22 points, on top of the 621 career regular season points he possesses in 669 games.

Whether New York Islanders captain John Tavares signs in Boston or not, this shows the willingness to go all in from the perspective of Bruins’ management. Although Tavares can’t hit the open market until July 1, the sheer desire to improve significantly with such a free-agent signing shows that the team is setting out to improve on a great 2017-2018 season. That’s what anyone should want from their favorite team in the mindset that the Bruins are in for the future – the Stanley Cup contender mindset.

(Video Credit: Islanders Highlights via YouTube)