The Toronto Maple Leafs signed John Tavares!
No, really, they did. Look:
7 years for Tavares in TOR— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 1, 2018
he inevitable has finally happened.
THE TOP FREE AGENT HAS CHOSEN THE TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS!
After being spurned two years ago by the mean, nasty, and perpetually injured Steven Stamkos (gross, who even wanted him), the best team in the world has been chosen by the biggest free agent to hit the open market since…..Brad Richards, maybe?
After trying to win the draft lottery to pick him (no thanks to Boyd Devereaux), after trying to trade up for him (we still love you Nazem Kadri!) at the 2009 NHL Draft, even after trying to sign him to an AHL contract with the Toronto Marlies at age 17, the Toronto Maple Leafs have now signed the first ever ‘exceptional player’ in the Ontario Hockey League.
A two time world juniors gold medalist, Spengler Cup winner, World Cup winner, and Olympic gold medalist now sits in the Toronto Maple Leafs depth chart. The former CHL rookie of the year, OHL MVP, CHL MVP, and Calder Trophy runner up to Tyler Myers has now signed on to become a Toronto Maple Leaf.
Stolen out from under the nose of former Maple Leafs GM Lou Lamiorello, and out of the hearts of New York Islanders fans, Tavares has signed with the Maple Leafs, marking the end to the Leafs rebuild and the start of yet another islanders, uh, reconstruction.
Despite being very, very old to some at age 27, Tavares scored 84 points for the Islanders last year, which would have made him the top scorer on the Leafs. Now imagine Tavares with someone like Mitch Marner on his wing, rather than Anders Lee. Now go change your pants.
Tavares contract breakdown: Year 1, $650k salary, $15.25M sb; Year 2, $910k salary, $15.25M sb; Year 3, $910k salary, $11.09M sb; Year 4, $910k salary, $8.44M sb; Years 5-7, $910k salary, $7.04M sb in each of those years— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) July 1, 2018
John Tavares is now a Maple Leaf for the next seven years. We get three years of Auston Matthews, John Tavares, and Nazem Kadri up the middle, and four more after that of Tavares and Matthews.
Let’s start the season now.