We keep hearing that Toronto is a good destination for New York Islanders John Tavares as he approaches free agency. So it’s nice to hear a member of the Canadian media say Toronto just doesn’t make sense.
It’s a storyline that’s guaranteed to get a number of clicks. Prime pending unrestricted free agent meets the most insatiable hockey market in the world. It’s a match made in heaven.
But now that we’re getting closer to July 1st the picture of where Tavares won’t go is growing clearer. And the Toronto Maple Leafs just don’t seem like one of them. Just ask Pierre LeBrun.
Doesn’t Make Sense
In speaking with Montreal’s TSN 690, the Atheltic’s Pierre LeBrun made it clear that he thought it would be better served for the Toronto Maple Leafs to go after a big defensive free agent rather than a number one center like John Tavares.
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And I couldn’t agree more.
So why waste what little salary cap room the Leafs might have over the next few seasons to sign Tavares when they could spend that money on John Carlson? You know, a true top pair defenseman?
I get the appeal to go for Tavares. But if Islanders fans have learned anything this season, it’s that offense doesn’t win. You need defense.
The Maple Leafs already have a blisteringly good offense. They finished tied for second in scoring this season with 277 goals for. They need to upgrade the blueline. Putting Morgan Reilly alongside 37-year-old Ron Hainsey was a recipe for disaster.
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The Maple Leafs desperately need a top pair right-handed defender. Which just so happens to be John Carlson’s qualities! It’s almost like that’s a better match!