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Editorials

New York Islanders Good Bad of Five Teams Speaking to John Tavares

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 22: John Tavares #91 of the New York Islanders skates on the ice before the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on January 22, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Islanders 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 22: John Tavares #91 of the New York Islanders skates on the ice before the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on January 22, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Islanders 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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DALLAS, TX – JUNE 23: (l-r) Kyle Dubas and Brendan Shanahan of the Toronto Maple Leafs handle the draft table during the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center on June 23, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX – JUNE 23: (l-r) Kyle Dubas and Brendan Shanahan of the Toronto Maple Leafs handle the draft table during the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center on June 23, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Toronto Maple Leafs

Should Worry About

For so many years, the narrative from the media was that John Tavares would eventually return home to play for the Maple Leafs. It was a similar one to what we heard just a couple of years ago with Steven Stamkos.

The Leafs have a young core of players with Mitch Marner, Auston Matthews and William Nylander who are all under 22-years-old.

Adding a piece like John Tavares would put this team over the hump, something they’ve struggled to do with this unit after back to back first round exits in the playoffs.

The Leafs have a prolific offense and a good netminder. With legendary head coach Mike Babcock behind the bench and the hometown factor, it makes sense why Tavares is at least meeting with them.

Shouldn’t Worry About

On the outside, it looks like the Maple Leafs have a lot of cap room, but in reality, it’s more of a mirage. William Nylander is an RFA this year, and Mitch Marner and Audon Matthews are RFA’s next year.

The Leafs have to worry about locking up guys like that, so the thought process here is the Tavares would sign a one-year deal to try to win now, and then hit free agency again.

That makes little sense for Tavares. He’s a loyal guy and likely wants the stability of a long-term deal. It makes no sense for him to take a one year $12 million deal when the Islanders have $88 million on the table for him.

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