In case you missed the news while celebrating Canada Day on the weekend, or you are a masochist from another fanbase here to see us talk about this even more, John Tavares is a Maple Leaf.

John Tavares is a Maple Leaf.

I won’t tire of writing that for at least a few weeks.

Speaking of a few weeks, it’s still that and more until there’s actual hockey for us to discuss, but in the meantimes there’s still loose ends for the Leafs to tie up. We’re watching for news on a contract for William Nylander, as well as contracts from some other RFAs like Justin Holl and Frederik Gauthier.

In the mean time, we’ll be here to keep you entertained all summer. For starters, our Top 25 Under 25 series will kick off in about two weeks. There’s going to be a big shakeup this season with several players aging out or being traded away, and a bunch of new draft picks for us to argue over.

Here’s what we wrote about yesterday.

Are the Maple Leafs done making moves? - Katya
Well that’s over, right! Now it’s time to hit the beach and wait for September. Or is it?

Having some fun with the Maple Leafs forward lines - Hardev
Got any ideas for who can play centre for us?

The Evil Empire - Fulemin
Toronto signs Tavares and becomes what it’s always been meant to be.

Evil empire indeed.

Other News
The rest of the league did some stuff barely worth mentining compared to Tavares. The Sharks re-signed all of Tomas Herlt, Joe Thornton and, most notably, Logan Couture on an eight year deal.

The Oilers did pretty much nothing. Apparently they badly need some wingers.

If only they could have some high scoring wingers they would be Cup contenders. Too bad they dont have any as they’re hard to find.

Meanwhile, the Canadiens big move was to buyout long time goalie Steve Mason.

I expect his jersey number retirement ceremony to be the tear-jerker event of the coming season.

Namestnikov Signs Two-Year Extension With New York Rangers - Blueshirt Banter
The Rangers lock up one Vladislav Namestnikov at $4M per season.

Calgary Flames sign the Real Deal - Matchsticks and Gasoline
James Neal signed to a five year contract with an AAV of $5.75M.

Free agency for the Wild was so confusing the path has become indiscernable - Hockey Wilderness
The first day of NHL free agency for the Minnesota Wild came and went like X-mas morning, but instead of faking your gratefulness for that hideous sweater your Aunt gave everyone in the room is asking, “Huh?”

The Canadiens are in a rebuild, whether they say so or not - Eyes On The Prize
[Species: Bergevin is the perfect GM to rebuild the Habs!]

How good are GMs at getting value from their contracts? - Winging It In Motown
How Much are NHL GMs Paying Per GAR?

Tavares Encyclopedia Epilogue: What I Learned From Two Years in Limbo - Lighthouse Hockey
"People have been talking out of their ass about John Tavares since before he joined the Islanders in 2009, and the frequency and intensity of it has only increased over time. I’m not just talking about anonymous Twitter rumor merchants, who trade in making declarative statements from “sources” they absolutely do not have. I’m also not just talking about people like TSN’s Craig Button, former NHL GM and current blowhard “expert” whose total knowledge of NHL teams other than the Leafs can fit neatly into one 18 ounce cup of Tim Hortons coffee with room for extra cream."

I hope you all had a great long weekend because the next one isn’t for another five weeks! If anyone from out of town is visiting Toronto, I have a room available in my basement.