CHICAGO (AP) — When John Tavares decided to pass on signing an extension with the New York Islanders and test free agency T.J. Oshie Jersey , he became the most interesting man in hockey.

NHL stars don’t ordinarily get to that point, and it led to Tavares going home to Toronto to sign a $77 million, seven-year contract with the Maple Leafs. Fellow players were watching closely, too, and wondering what the long-term impact might be.

“Even if we weren’t directly affiliated with it, it would’ve been interesting to follow because you don’t see it that often,” Islanders winger Anders Lee said. “Who knows if it’s going to set a precedent or not or anything like that.”

The early returns are mixed. Tyler Seguin hopes a long-term deal can get done with the Stars before the regular season begins next month, while Ottawa Senators forward Matt Duchene started wondering about what could be. Seguin said he hasn’t gotten that far to imagine himself in Tavares’ shoes.

“I didn’t look into it really too much because my goal has still been to be a Dallas Star,” Seguin said Friday. “That plan hasn’t changed.”

A lot of times there isn’t a plan yet. While Seguin said there has been positive dialogue between his agent and the Stars in recent days, Duchene hasn’t talked to the Senators about an extension and Ottawa captain Erik Karlsson is the constant subject of trade rumors with one year left on his deal.

Duchene feels better than at the start of previous seasons when he was less than happy in Colorado and didn’t know where he’d be next. Only this time, his uncertainty doesn’t feel so bad after watching Tavares get to free agency and have the chance to pick his destination.

“It gives you something to think about because you want to make the best decision for yourself,” Duchene said. “Sometimes the way a team does things can trigger a different response from the individual and vice versa. It’s not a cookie-cutter thing.”

Tavares understands that. He had to weigh nine years with the Islanders against recent struggles to make the playoffs and the potential offered by teams like the Maple Leafs and Sharks.

His situation was so often compared to that Steven Stamkos — who re-signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning on the eve of free agency in 2016 — that Tavares doesn’t expect Seguin Lars Eller Jersey , Duchene or anyone else to feel the same ways he did.

“Once I got through the regular season and kind of decompressing after a while and started kind of getting closer obviously to July 1, I realized that this might be my really only chance to go through something like this and have this opportunity to see what else is out there,” Tavares said. “It obviously led to me making a change. I think it just depends on the type of person and the situation and I guess kind of the optics or the circumstances in that situation.”

Karlsson could go the Tavares route next summer, though any team that deals for him between now and the trade deadline will likely want to lock him up long term. That could be the case for Duchene, too.

Seguin, who last week expressed concerns that a new contract with Dallas wasn’t done yet, is far more likely to sign in the coming weeks in large part because of the talent the Stars have around him and the potential they have to contend. Captain and linemate Jamie Benn is signed through 2024-25 and doesn’t feel like he has to sell Seguin on staying or give him any advice about going through the negotiation process.

“The contract will sort itself out,” Benn said. “People think it’s more complicated than it already is … but he’s earned every amount of money that he’s going to get and he’s well-deserving of it.”

Seguin, Karlsson and Duchene are going to get paid by some team over the next 10 months, as Tavares was. Oilers captain and Art Ross Trophy winner Connor McDavid went the more common route signing the longest-possible deal in Edmonton for the highest average salary in the league, and even he was watching the Tavares saga and came away glad it happened.

“Hockey’s kind of always been the ‘I do what I’m told’ and ‘I kind of go where I’m told’ and whatnot, but he was one of the few guys that took his matters into his own hands and you really respect that Womens Josh Anderson Jersey ,” McDavid said.

“He could’ve signed the security deal and signed a long-term deal or a lot of money and never would’ve thought about it again. But he decided that he wanted to go a different route and live out his childhood dream and play in Toronto and you can’t really blame him for that.”

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indianapolis Colts center Deyshawn Bond remembers camping out inside a cramped hotel room late last summer, reveling in the sound of silence.

For the undrafted rookie who attended high school on Indy’s east side before heading to Cincinnati, cutdown weekend seemed like the perfect antithesis of draft weekend.

In the spring, every college prospect dreams of picking up the phone and hearing an NFL team on the other end. But if that call comes in the first 72 hours following the preseason finale, everyone knows it’s probably time to turn in a playbook and find another job.

So Bond spent those first 24 hours waiting it out alone before accepting a dinner invite from his mother across town.

“I didn’t really come out of my room that first day. Didn’t get the call,” Bond said. “So my mom had ended up telling me she wanted to have dinner for me and I went over and she surprised me with a lot of family. So it was an exciting time in my life.”

It seems just about everyone who’s played in the NFL has some semblance of the same story.

Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy often started decision weekend by talking about when he sat inside a room with Pittsburgh Steelers greats Joe Greene, Mel Blount, Terry Bradshaw and Franco Harris when the knock on the door came. Dungy took a quick look around the room and instantly realized none of the four future Hall of Famers were about to be cut.

But this weekend, all around the league, the stories bubble up again.

Bond and a few teammates have already recounted their tales to a group of wide-eyed rookies, still hopeful of landing their dream job and some of whom envision extending the Colts’ streak of consecutive seasons with an undrafted rookie on the opening day roster.

Last year, Bond and punter Rodrigo Sanchez helped keep the streak alive. Now Jacob Markstrom Jersey , a whole new batch of rookies will try to make it 20 consecutive years albeit on a roster with significantly fewer openings.

“I’ve heard, a couple times,” said linebacker Skai Moore, the South Carolina product who started turning heads in rookie minicamp. “What’s it been, like 19 seasons an undrafted rookie made the team? Yeah, I’ve heard that a couple times. I hope I can (make it 20).”

Moore seems like the best bet.

He’s been starting at middle linebacker while Anthony Walker recovers from an injured groin. But Moore isn’t the only potential prospect on the roster.

Cornerback Henre’ Toliver has steadily moved ahead of several other undrafted rookies on the depth chart and now may have to fend off Lenzy Pipkins, whom Indy acquired in a trade with Green Bay earlier this week.

Receiver Steve Ishmael is fourth on the team in receptions while safety George Odum has one of the Colts’ two interceptions. Kicker Mike Badgley is 5 for 5 on field goals, including a 51-yarder he made in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s win over San Francisco.

Each has one more chance to impress the coaches at Cincinnati on Thursday.

The biggest longshot might be Badgley, who finds himself behind one of the most reliable kickers in NFL history. Adam Vinatieri enters the season needing seven field goals to become the league’s career leader and 58 points to pass Morten Andersen as the league’s career scoring leader.

Badgley has done nothing to hurt himself and may actually have done enough to find a spot on another team. Besides, he has Vinatieri’s stamp of approval.

“He’s wise beyond his years and we have had a lot of good conversations,” Vinatieri said. “He’s a really strong-minded kid and obviously very, very talented as well. So here Jeff Skinner Jersey , there, anywhere, he’s going to be successful.”

The reality of the salary cap is teams need productivity out of capable, less costly players such as Moore and Bond.

Bond did his part in 2017, replacing the injured Ryan Kelly as Indy’s starting center for the first four games — until he was carted off the field at Seattle with a season-ending torn quadriceps.

There have been plenty of examples of other undrafted rookies playing big roles for the Colts. Center Jeff Saturday signed with Indy after selling electrical supplies in North Carolina and went on to form the longest-playing center-quarterback duo with Peyton Manning in league history.

Dominic Rhodes rushed for 1,104 yards as a rookie in 2001 after replacing the injured Edgerrin James. Five years later, Rhodes had a vital part in Indy’s Super Bowl title-winning run.

Pro Bowl tight end Jack Doyle wound up making the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted rookie before the Colts claimed him off waivers in 2013.

And Bond’s advice to Moore, or anyone else feeling the angst this weekend is simple: Keep the head up and the phone might not ring.

“I wouldn’t say you should be nervous about it. I would say just stay positive,” he said. “This is not just an interview with the team you’re playing with at the time, it’s an interview for every team in the league. So keep a positive mindset and go out and perform at your best.”

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