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FTB: The countdown to NHL free agency begins

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With the NHL Draft over, everyone now wants to know where John Tavares will sign.

2018 NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7
Who wore their glasses better?
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Where will John Tavares go? That’s what everyone wants to know. One thing we do know is he won’t go anywhere until July 1 when free agecy actually begins, unless he actually re-signs with the Islanders which he can do at any time. The longer the selection process, the more mindless news stories we get in the manner of “Will John Tavares go to Team X?”

It’s the modern method of drawing out the news cycle. You can get so many stories for every team on it. “Could Tavares be interested in signing with the Leafs?” “Tavares to interview with the Leafs tomorrow.” “Tavares interviewing with the Leafs today.” “Tavares interviewed with the Leafs yesterday.” “Rumours from Tavares’ interview with the Leafs.” “How could the Leafs fit in Tavares?”

Expect to continue to hear about nothing but Tavares over and over and over all week.

Meanwhile, another John went and spared us all of that.

Whew. That’s a lot of money! It’s front loaded with two seasons of $6.5M signing bonuses on top of $5.5M in salary. It’s almost like he’s worried something might happen after the next two seasons. I wonder what that could be?

In totally unrelated news, the NHL and NHLPA are reportedly planning informal meetings this summer, one year in advance of the availability to invoke the CBA’s early termination clause which would terminate it at the end of the following season.

Bill Daly is once again reported to make a five year contract cap a “hill we will die on” (details in the second section - NY Post.) Bettman has reportedly warned teams to stop handing out signing bonuses to players for that season, which are payable in full on July 1, regardless of a lockout. Unsurprisingly, Carlson’s signing bonus drops from $6.5M to $2M for that season, before going back up to $5M the next per Cap Friendly.

It’s happening, folks. They’re getting ready for Lockout IV: The Voyage Home. The only thing that can save the NHL now is a renegade team that goes back in time to get Conn Smythe.

NHL Draft Coverage

If you were out enjoying the weather this weekend and missed following the NHL Draft, here’s some links to catch up on Kyle Dubas and the Maple Leafs, and the other team’s selections.

Maple Leafs Prospect Pipeline List grows by 9 names - Katya
The list of unsigned players the Leafs have rights to is a lot more exciting now.

Miscellaneous Leaf Thoughts: 2018 Draft Edition - Fulemin
Dubas and his nerds, the Sault Ste Marie Connection, the choice not to pick Joe Veleno, and more.

Meet Toronto’s 2018 first round pick Rasmus Sandin - Kevin Papetti
Sandin is a mobile, left-shooting defenceman who turned heads in Sault Ste. Marie this season.

NHL Draft 2018 results: Pick-by-pick tracker for Round 1 - SBNation.com
Here’s the list of all the first round ticks by team.

Loewen becomes first Jamaican-born player drafted by NHL team - TheColorOfHockey
Loewen, a towering left wing for the Kamloops Blazers, became the first Jamaican-born player when the Dallas Stars selected him with the 199th overall pick Saturday.