It’s official: The Dallas Stars have missed out on superstar free agent John Tavares.
On Saturday, the best available player on the NHL free-agent market elected to return to his hometown of Toronto and sign with the Maple Leafs.
Last week, the soon-to-be 29-year-old hosted meetings with six teams in Los Angeles, including the Stars, Islanders, Maple Leafs, Bruins, Shark and Kings.
Jim Nill and the Stars' front office faced long odds to sign Tavares. The fact that the team is tight against the salary cap, just hired a first-time NHL head coach and will be reliant on the development of prospects made it a challenge to compete against his other suitors.
The team's best chance at landing Tavares was to use the connection between fellow Canadian stars Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, as well as the potential savings associated with the absence of income tax in the state of Texas.
But it's unknown if and when those discussions took place.
According to reports, the deal came in at seven years (the maximum for a free agent under the NHL's collective bargaining agreement) and $77 million.