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.