The hardest job Vegas Golden Knights GM George McPhee has had in his career to date is building a new team to bring to the city of Las Vegas and it’s fair to say he nailed it.
Now what comes next could be seen as the second hardest job he’s had (although defending that Filip Forsberg trade wouldn’t be far behind.)
After such unexpected success in year one for the Golden Knights, they have to follow it up with a strong summer and a great year two, avoiding any sophomore slump.
So should the Golden Knights go in for John Tavares this summer if he does hit free agency?
At the moment, it’s up in the air on whether or not the New York Islanders captain will sign a new deal to stay under new GM Lou Lamoriello, or if he’s going to be one of the most coveted free agents of all time.
So let’s say for arguments sake he tests the market on July 1st, just to see what’s out there, is Vegas a potential destination?
Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke
They certainly have the money to spare, they could max out his contract and still have room for others.
Coming into free agency, Vegas could have anywhere up to around $30 million in cap space, and if they look to sure up their offense for the future, you can bet Tavares would be a strong consideration to lead the charge.
Most will be surprised if the Golden Knights don’t go after a defenceman like Erik Karlsson through trade, or free agents like John Carlson or Mike Green, but they could still chase Tavares as well.
They have the money available, and you can argue all you want whether or not a player fits a certain need, you don’t need to go there when a player like John Tavares is in play, he’s too good to just fit a need, he can take your team forward.
Following such a successful inaugural season, the Golden Knights need to do something to make sure this wasn’t just a one off, signing Tavares would certainly help.
At 27-years old you’re not going to get a guy that drops off, if you sign him to a seven-year deal, you’ll get seven of his best years in his already incredible career.
He’s already put up 621 points in 669 career games and at his current pace should reach 300 goals sometime next season.
The Golden Knights will sign William Karlsson this summer who was last years first line centre last year, bringing Tavares in and moving Karlsson to the second line would give Vegas one hell of a one-two punch.
In a way, the Golden Knights don’t need to go after, but this type of free agent doesn’t come around often, it’s been ages since it’s happened.
You’d have to say Vegas are a front runner for his signature if Tavares does hit free agency.