It’s September 11th and New Jersey Devils free agent Tomas Tatar is without a home. At this point, it doesn’t appear as though he’ll be returning to New Jersey. General manager Tom Fitzgerald and Co. are betting on the Devils youth to fill a couple of voids following departures this summer. As a result, Tatar remains a free agent. In the latest wrinkle of news, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet revealed that Tatar has now switched representation and is leaning towards a new contract in the Eastern Conference.
Tatar was previously represented by Ritchie Winter of Raze Sports. His new representation is with Newport Sports Management.
“Tomas Tatar has switched agents,” Friedman explained to Jeff Marek on the latest 32 Thoughts Podcast. “He is now represented by Newport. That’s a relatively recent development. Someone said to me they wouldn’t be surprised to see him sign soon. We’ll see. I know Pittsburgh was a team that was interested. I know Pittsburgh was a team that was interested, but I believe the Penguins were not the only one.”
Now, according to the Sportsnet insider, Pittsburgh is an unlikely destination.
“I thought it might be Pittsburgh,” Friedman stated in a later update. “Now, I’m not convinced it’s gonna be Pittsburgh. I’ve heard East, but I’m not so sure it’s Pittsburgh.”
It’s an interesting situation for Tatar. He’s a useful player that can be inserted into a top-six role. Further, what’s even more interesting is that New York Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello confirmed Zach Parise won’t begin the year on Long Island. In fact, he’s at his home in Minnesota. It makes sense for the Isles to replace one 20-goal scorer with another.
Zach Parise will not attend Isles training camp, per Lou
— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) September 11, 2023
If we could play detective, the Islanders have a number of players that are represented by Newport. That list includes Parise, former Islander Josh Baily, and current Islanders Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas, Matt Martin, Bo Horvat, and J.G. Pageau. It’s very much like Lamoriello to keep a signing quiet until the very last moment. To add more fuel to the fire, it’s speculated that Tatar is leaning toward staying in the East.
It’s just speculation, but there’s evidence to prove there’s at least the possibility Tatar’s new home could be on Long Island. At the very least, someone is getting a useful player in the Czechoslovakia forward. Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be in New Jersey as Fitzgerald claimed back in August that his last bit of business was to get Kevin Bahl under contract, which he did. We’ll see where Tatar lands, and soon.