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From the Branches: What's that, Lighthouse Hockey? Tavares to Toronto?

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All about one of Toronto's favorite sons.

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So our good friend Dan Saraceni of Lighthouse Hockey has created a living document as "proof" of all the times John Tavares has denied the "call to return home" from Canada's Team. That's okay. As I've previously written, sports are nothing if not mythic, and the hero always denies the call to adventure the first time or two. Or three or four. So just keep listening, JT! Toronto will keep calling. We have faith.

John Tavares and Other Leafs News

The Complete Encyclopedia of John Tavares telling the Toronto Maple Leafs to get lost | LHH
"A handy compendium of all the times Islanders captain John Tavares has politely told the entire province of Ontario that he wants to stay with the team he’s with right now thank you very much." Uhuh.

John Tavares takes a walk down memory lane ahead of World Cup | Globe & Mail
"It was in this very rink – albeit then known as Scotiabank Place, not Canadian Tire Centre – back in early 2009 that an 18-year-old Tavares led his Canadian team into the World Junior Championships."

Tavares says combos help players decipher roles on star-laden Canadian team | The Record
"Seguin, who missed out on a spot with the 2014 Sochi squad, said he watched that tournament and saw how often things shuffled around. He wondered whether he might find himself paired at some point with Bergeron and Marchand, his former linemates with the Boston Bruins."

Why Brooklyn-frustrated John Tavares could bolt to Leafs in ’18 | Larry Brooks
From February. "We know how proud Tavares is of being an Islander and of being a part — no, the nucleus — of this comparative revival that, still in all, has not produced a single playoff series victory. But times change. A first-round exit this year (or, an unexpected miss altogether) would not bode well for either the core in uniform or anyone within the organization wearing civilian clothes, and it shouldn’t."

Leafs: John Tavares Doesn’t See Toronto in his Future | Tip of the Tower

Auston Matthews calm, poised as he prepares for big NHL debut | Globe & Mail
"He’s got a month of high-end hockey to get ready for the National Hockey League season. We didn’t. Connor, myself, and everybody else in this room – we didn’t have that luxury to get this high-speed hockey, NHL-style hockey, right away. I think it’s going to bode well for him during the season," Ekblad said after TNA’s first workout on the Bell Centre ice.

As Team North America's youngest player, Auston Matthews is OK with working his way up the lineup | ESPN
'At one point, he mentioned how excited he was to play in Toronto, the center of the hockey world, to which a Montreal reporter suggested that it might not be wise for him to repeat that too loudly in this town. "Yeah, well, I guess you could argue it," he said with a shrug.'

Further rethinking the way we talk about prospects | TLN
"There's been lots of talk about rethinking the way we talk about prospects on TLN lately. Steve got the conversation started with his article and video on the prospect pyramid, and Jeff made a rebuttal that pointed out some of the weaknesses of the idea. I personally side more with Steve than Jeff, and think that the discourse surrounding draft prospects is incredibly arbitrary."

Other Hockey News

World Cup of Hockey: 10 baffling questions, answered | Puck Daddy
1 – Should I care about this thing?

The World Cup of Hockey will suck, but Team North America will rule | WIIM
"I really don’t care about the World Cup of Hockey, but I care about all of the NHL’s young talent playing together"

American NHL players preparing for World Cup downplay anthem controversy | USA Today
"I think as athletes we have a great platform and to use it to influence social change is within our right," said American forward David Backes of the Boston Bruins. "Whether you should do that during the anthem, which stands for our country and salutes those who have given their lives for our country, allowing athletes to play, is a matter of debate. I have my opinions on that."

Building Vegas: The First Hires | Sportsnet
"Most NHL GMs choose their assistants from among their past colleagues. But in getting things off the ground in Las Vegas, George McPhee went with a guy he'd never met."

NHL Players translate hockey slang | Bardown
"Tyler Seguin, Wayne Simmonds, Michael Del Zotto, Tom Wilson and Max Domi gave their best effort in trying to explain some of their favourite slang words that the common person may not understand."

Jonathan Huberdeau contract extension continues Panthers' high-spending offseason | Sporting News
Can we get the Cats to pay for Kucherov's next contract too? :p

World Cup diary: Vladimir Tarasenko | NHL
"I've played with Kulemin a couple times in the World Championship and in the Olympics. I've never played with Malkin before, but he's smart and one of the best players in the game. All we need to do is talk a lot about our game, find out what everyone does best and just put that on the ice."

A first crack at predicting the 2016-17 NHL standings | Yost
Yost predicts the Leafs come in 12th in the conference.