New York Islanders: 2017-2018 Five Restricted Free Agents To Target

By Tim Stevenson
CALGARY, AB - MARCH 27: Sam Bennett
CALGARY, AB - MARCH 27: Sam Bennett /
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New York Islanders
TORONTO, CANADA – MARCH 07: Tomas Tatar /

Thomas Tatar

26 year old Thomas Tatar is a top notch scorer in his prime. He’s averaged 24 goals a year the last 4 years, and led his team with 25 goals despite Detroit missing the playoffs for the first time in over two decades. So why would the Red Wings let him go?

The Red Wings are in a strange position this summer. They have a lot of expensive, long term contracts on the books. Johan Franzen’s $3.95 million contract won’t count against the cap as he is on the IR indefinitely, but even without Franzen the Wings only have $6.23 million for next season.

That’s unfortunate for Detroit because they still have to sign RFAs Tatar and Andreas Athanasiou. Detroit offered Tatar $25 million for five years and he turned them down. The 26 year old winger is asking for closer to $6 million a year and 6-7 years.

The Islanders have room in the budget for Tatar, and a lot of picks garnered from a trade with Calgary. This is one of the few times it might actually work to…MAKE AN OFFER SHEET!

If NY offered Tatar the same deal they offered Andrew Ladd, 7 years at $5.5 million, Detroit would be forced to decision. They could either pay Tatar more or lose him to the Isles for a 1st, 2nd and 3rd round pick.

Otherwise the Wings could trade him to free up room to sign Athanasiou. There are rumors Detroit has interest in picking up Thomas Vanek as well, but no room under the cap.

Garth might choose the trade to clear cap space. It could be another chance to pull off a lopsided trade.

Usually this wouldn’t fly…but they need the cap space…Bailey put up ten points more than Tatar last year; he’s familiar with Frans Nielsen and first line responsibility. They’re around the same age, but Bailey is cheaper

Tatar and the Wings have an arbitration meeting Thursday. Approaching arbitration the Wings are offering $4.1 million for one year but Tatar is asking $5.3 million. Now is the perfect time to strike, if Garth were so inclined.