As TFP Editor-in-Chief David Pagnotta was the first to report, the Toronto Maple Leafs have agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent centre John Tavares to a seven-year, $77 million contract. Tavares, 27, has spent his entire NHL career, to date, with the New York Islanders. In 82 games with the Islanders last season, Tavares registered 37 goals and 47 assists for 84 points. Tavares, via Twitter, said: “I’m thrilled to be starting a new chapter of my career and life in Toronto with the MapleLeafs. I feel very fortunate to come join a team with a great young core and play where I grew up learning and loving the game. I can’t wait to get started!” Drafted first-overall by the Islanders in 2009, Tavares has played in 669 career NHL regular-season games, to date, and has accumulated 272 goals and 349 assists for 621 points.
The Calgary Flames have signed unrestricted free agent left wing James Neal to a five-year contract worth approximately $28.75 million. Neal, 30, registered 25 goals and 19 assists for 44 points in 71 games with the Vegas Golden Knights last night. The native of Whitby, Ontario, has made the trip to the Stanley Cup Final two years in a row with the Knights and Nashville Predators. In 703 career NHL regular-season games with the Dallas Stars, Pittsburgh Penguins, Predators and Knights, Neal has accumulated 263 goals and 232 assists for 495 points. Neal was originally drafted by the Stars in the second-round, 33rd overall, of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.
The St. Louis Blues have acquired centre Ryan O’Reilly from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for forwards Patrik Berglund, Vladimir Sobotka and Tage Thompson, as well as a 2019 first-round draft pick and a 2021 second-round pick. O’Reilly, 27, was originally drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in the second-round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Last season, he appeared in 81 games with Buffalo, tallying 24 goals and 37 assists for 61 points. O’Reilly is a veteran of nine NHL seasons, including six with the Colorado Avalanche and three with Buffalo. He has posted 422 points, including 155 goals and 267 assists, in 651 career regular season games. Berglund, 30, was originally drafted 25th overall by the Blues in 2006. In 10 seasons with the Blues, he’s collected 322 points (168 goals, 154 assists) and 242 penalty minutes in 694 regular season games. Sobotka, 30, originally joined the Blues via trade from the Boston Bruins on June 26, 2010. Across nine NHL seasons, including six with the Blues, he has tallied 155 points (47 goals, 108 assists) in 463 regular season games. Thompson, 20, was originally drafted 26th overall by the Blues in the 2016 NHL Draft. Last season, his first in the NHL, he recorded nine points (three goals, six assists) in 41 regular season games.
The Winnipeg Jets made two moves Monday prior to the NHL trade deadline. Winnipeg acquired forward Paul Stastny from the St. Louis Blues for forward Erik Foley and two draft picks. Then the Jets landed defenceman Joe Morrow from the Montreal Canadiens for a 2018 fourth-round draft pick. Winnipeg sent a 2018 first-round pick and conditional fourth-round 2020 selection to the Blues. Stastny, 32, had 12 goals and 28 assists in 63 games this season with St. Louis. He’s the son of Hockey Hall of Famer Peter Stastny. Stastny joins a Winnipeg squad that’s second on the Central Division, two points behind the Nashville Predators. Foley, 20, was taken in the third round, No. 78 overall, by Winnipeg in the 2015 NHL draft. The six-foot, 185-pound American has 15 goals and 19 assists in 32 games with Providence College this season. Morrow, 25, had five goals and six assists in 38 games this season with Montreal. A 2011 first-round pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Morrow has appeared in 103 career NHL games with Boston and the Canadiens.