Since Lou Lamoriello was hired by the New York Islanders on May 22, he has remained in daily contact with John Tavares’ agent Pat Brisson.
Lamoriello’s resume includes numerous accolades and the Islanders needed someone of his caliber to re-sign Tavares and reach a competitive level once again.
Fortunately, according to TSN’s Frank Seravalli, Lamoriello and Brisson have been in “near daily” contact since Lou’s arrival:
“It’s clear that locking up Tavares is Lamoriello’s first, second and third priority. Lamoriello and Tavares’ agent, Pat Brisson of CAA Sports, have been in near daily contact since Lamoriello took over on May 22.”
From now until the draft, there’s a good chance Brisson may almost serve as a consultant of sorts for Lamoriello, who recognizes the incalculable importance of retaining the biggest free agent to potentially hit the market in more than a decade. Naturally, the expectation is that any and all moves Lamoriello makes will likely be relayed directly to both Brisson and Tavares.
At this point in time, “Tavares watch” is playing out a lot like Steven Stamkos’ situation did in the 2016 offseason. Unfortunately, unlike Stamkos, the Islanders haven’t been to the Eastern Final since 1993, while in Stamkos’ situation the Lightning had been to three including a trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 2015.
While there’s no indication of Tavares heading anywhere just yet, the signal from his camp was positive after finding out that Lamoriello was onboard. Lucky for them, too, because according to Chris Botta of SNY, Tavares hadn’t engaged in conversation with the Isles camp prior to Lamoriello’s hiring.
There are just over two weeks remaining until the NHL Draft kicks off on June 22, the day that Lamoriello is expected to make his biggest pitch to alert both JT and the NHL that the Islanders are back in the business of winning. Mind you, the listening period begins shortly thereafter so if the Isles want to retain him, they’ll do their absolute best to have him signed before then.
For now, daily contact is far, far better off than the Islanders were without Lamoriello. Now, it’s up to him to find the missing pieces to repair a thinned-out blueline and a true number-one goaltender.