The New York Islanders brought in Lou Lamoriello as president of hockey operations with the hope the Hall of Fame executive could get a deal done to keep star center John Tavares from signing elsewhere as a free agent.
It didn’t work out, as Tavares joined the Toronto Maple Leafs on a seven-year contract worth $11 million annually, but Lamoriello isn’t lamenting the effort he and the Isles made to retain the former No. 1 overall pick.
“First of all, we did everything I think we possibly could to keep John,” Lamoriello told SiriusXM NHL Network Radio on Thursday. “He’s been an exceptional player for the Islanders and is a quality player. But he now is with another team, so that’s the past.”
The Islanders reportedly offered Tavares $11.25 million annually on an eight-year deal, but the 27-year-old spurned them to join his hometown team.
—Landing Tavares in the free agent market won’t prevent the Maple Leafs from keeping some of their rising young guns, according to Toronto general manager Kyle Dubas.
Dubas appeared on the podcast “31 Thoughts” and said retaining young forwards Mitchell Marner, Auston Matthews and William Nylander is doable.
Nylander, 22, is a restricted free agent after scoring 61 points (20 goals, 41 assists) last season. Marner, 21, had a team-best 69 points (22 goals, 47 assists) while the 20-year-old Matthews had 63 points (34 goals, 29 assists) in just 62 games.
—Ottawa Senators assistant general manager Randy Lee is seeking the dismissal of two harassment charges against him stemming from a May 31 arrest in Buffalo, N.Y.
Lee’s attorney, Paul Cambria, told the Associated Press that he will enter a not-guilty plea and file a motion to dismiss during Lee’s court appearance Friday in Buffalo. Lee, who has been suspended by the team, pleaded not guilty to the original harassment charge during a June 4 court appearance, allowing him to reclaim his passport and return to Canada. A second charge is scheduled to be filed at Friday’s hearing.
Lee was arrested for allegedly rubbing the shoulders of a 19-year-old male shuttle bus driver and making lewd comments while he was in town for the NHL combine. A scheduled court appearance forced him to miss the first day of the NHL draft last month.
—The Anaheim Ducks have signed former Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Andrej Sustr to a one-year deal.
Terms were not disclosed. Sustr played last season on a one-year, $1.95 million deal in Tampa Bay.
Sustr, 27, totaled 48 points (seven goals, 41 assists) while averaging 17:22 of ice time in 229 games for the Lightning from 2014-2017, including a career-high 17:42 of ice time for the 2014-15 team that reached the Stanley Cup Final.
—The Columbus Blue Jackets retained forward Boone Jenner by signing him to a four-year, $15 million contract.
The deal runs through the 2021-22 season. The 25-year-old Jenner has 161 points (86 goals, 75 assists) through five seasons with the Blue Jackets. He scored a career-high 30 goals during the 2015-16 campaign.
Jenner, who had 13 goals and 19 assists last season, was a restricted free agent.
—Montreal Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber will be sidelined for five to six months after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee to repair a torn meniscus, the team announced.
Weber underwent the surgery on June 19, and doctors found more extensive damage than originally suspected. He initially underwent left foot surgery in March, which delayed the procedure on his knee.
“It is important to mention that this procedure could not have been performed earlier due to his recovery to his previous foot surgery,” Canadiens head physician David Mulder said in a release. “As such, we expect a recovery period from this latest knee surgery to be five to six months.”
—The Detroit Red Wings avoided arbitration with restricted free agent center Andreas Athanasiou by agreeing on a two-year, $6 million extension, according to multiple reports.
Athanasiou, who turns 24 next month, played the 2017-18 season on a one-year, $1.39 million deal that he signed as a restricted free agent in October. He went on to tally a career-high 33 points (16 goals, 17 assists) in 71 games while playing 15:19 per game, also a career best.
—The Carolina Hurricanes and restricted free agent Trevor van Riemsdyk agreed to a two-year, $4.6 million deal to avoid arbitration.
The defenseman was one of 44 players to elect arbitration on Thursday, but the sides reached an agreement shortly afterward to avoid a hearing. He will make $2.1 million in 2018-19 and $2.5 million in 2019-20 after playing last season on a $900,000 salary.
Van Riemsdyk, who turns 27 on July 24, tallied three goals and 13 assists in 79 games for the Hurricanes last season, his first in Carolina after being acquired from the Vegas Golden Knights for a second-round pick in June 2017.
—Vegas Golden Knights breakout center William Karlsson and Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck are among 44 restricted free agents to elect salary arbitration, the NHLPA announced.
Karlsson, 25, will be the biggest name to watch during arbitration, as he comes off a remarkable season in which he erupted for 43 goals and 35 assists. Hellebuyck, 25, is easily the most accomplished netminder on the list.
Minnesota Wild left winger Jason Zucker and Dallas Stars centers Mattias Janmark and Devin Shore could see raises in arbitration. Hearings will be held in Toronto from July 20 to Aug. 4.
—Field Level Media