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Lightning makes pitch to John Tavares

John Tavares (91), who can be an unrestricted free agent Sunday, talked to fives teams during the courting period: the Lightning, Maple Leafs, Sharks, Bruins and Stars. (DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times)
John Tavares (91), who can be an unrestricted free agent Sunday, talked to fives teams during the courting period: the Lightning, Maple Leafs, Sharks, Bruins and Stars. (DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times)
Published Jun. 28, 2018

Times wires

LOS ANGELES – The Lightning made its pitch to potential free agent John Tavares and his agent in a meeting that lasted under two hours Wednesday, reports said.

The Lightning's delegation was made up of general manager Steve Yzerman, coach Jon Cooper and assistant general manager Julien Brisebois, Canada's TSN reported.

The Lightning was the last of five teams to meet with the Islanders center and his camp during the free-agent courting period, which began Sunday. The others were the Bruins, Sharks, Stars and Maple Leafs. None of those teams has been ruled out by Tavares, and neither has the Islanders, Canada's Sportsnet reported.

Tavares, 27, is the hottest commodity among the potential unrestricted free agents and could become the highest-paid player in the league no matter where he signs.  The Islanders have offered him an eight-year, $88 million deal, reports said.

Free agency begins Sunday.

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