In case you haven’t heard, New York Islanders captain John Tavares could become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

It’s only the biggest national storyline this season. The longer Tavares remains unsigned, and the closer we get to the trade deadline, speculation about the center will only intensify. If he’s not traded and remains unsigned, things will reach a fever pitch.

And for good reason. Tavares is an elite center, a perennial All-Star among the league’s best players, regardless of position. He’ll attract plenty of interest if he’s made available at the trade deadline, and/or if he becomes a free agent.

The Sharks may be one of those teams, as Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported their interest back in April. They’ll have plenty of cap space, and a need for a top center as Joe Thornton continues to age, so the Sharks should be interested.

There should be plenty of intrigue as Tavares takes the ice at SAP Center tonight. Yet the discussion surrounding Tavares’ potential free agency is, well, kind of boring.

Perhaps it’s because the season isn’t even two weeks old. Perhaps it’s because Tavares is saying all of the right things. Perhaps it’s because of the tight-lipped nature of the sport. Perhaps it’s because it’s so rare to see a star of Tavares’ stature actually hit free agency. After all, Steven Stamkos didn’t after signing an eight-year extension with Tampa Bay in 2016, and Brent Burns re-signed with San Jose eight months before he could have hit the open market.