Could the Red Wings land this superstar forward?

It’s no secret that the Detroit Red Wings have lacked the star power they previously enjoyed in 2009 with a then-prime Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, and Marian Hossa on the roster. Of course, they’ll never again match the legendary 2002 version of their team, who featured two Hall of Famers alone on their fourth line, and nine overall.

NBC analyst Pierre McGuire appeared on TSN690 on Wednesday to discuss this summer’s upcoming free agent list, at the top of whom will be current New York Islanders captain John Tavares.

With the New York Islanders likely to miss this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs and still without a long-term arena plan, McGuire said that the Red Wings have a chance to make a play for him. Close proximity to his hometown of Toronto, Detroit’s plentiful draft picks, brand new arena, and Original 6 brand image were among the reasons McGuire listed that could make Hockeytown an enticing decision for Tavares.

This isn’t the first time that McGuire has suggested that the Red Wings could have a chance to land him. Before the season began, McGuire explained during a radio interview that if he were a member of the Islanders management, he’d be worried that Detroit could snatch Tavares away from Long Island.

“There’s one team that’s an Original 6 team that will desperately be in need of a superstar player – the Detroit Red Wings,” McGuire said. “They will have more than enough cap space to go out and make a play for John Tavares. And I think that any player, especially Ontario born, even though he was an Oshawa General and spent time with the London Knights, knows how powerful the Red Wings brand is.” 

Forwards Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha are going to need new contracts, so more roster shuffling would be required to get Tavares to Detroit. His current cap hit with the Islanders is $5.5 million, and his new deal will be significantly higher than that.

However, if Detroit were to be able to pull it off, it would be their biggest free-agent signing since inking Marian Hossa shortly after their 2008 Stanley Cup championship.

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