July 01, 2018

Toronto Maple Leafs sign John Tavares for seven years, $77 million: As Free Agent Frenzy begins.....
John Tavares is a Toronto Maple Leaf.

Tavares tweeted out the news himself, bidding farewell to New York Islanders fans while saying he wanted to live out “his childhood dream.”

posted by tommytrump to hockey at 01:53 PM - 5 comments

This one hurts. As a longtime Isles fan, I was hoping the new management team would help keep JT. I get it (why he chose them), I just hate it.

posted by jagsnumberone at 04:02 AM on July 02, 2018

Bad move by both parties. Tavares will need to deal with the TO media and the team isn't a contender until they spend some money on defense. Ron Hainsey has developed but when he is your number 1 D you are in biggggg trouble.

Further, what do they do with Mathews and his fragile ego? Solid player when his mind is in the right place; a big minus when he doesn't get what he wants. Can you deal him for first pair D? Will it make any difference with the current roster?

posted by cixelsyd at 08:17 PM on July 02, 2018

I probably could not disagree more with what cixelsyd has written. Almost every single sentence is incorrect (in my opinion).

- Great move by Tavares (home town plus lockout-proof money) and Toronto (add massive piece, lose nothing, keep him away from rivals TB/BOS).

- Tavares has dealt with New York media, so Toronto media isn't going to scare him. The team is absolutely a contender, as betting odds evidence would show.

- Ron Hainsey is 37 years old, so I don't know why the word "developed" would be used about a veteran defenseman.

- The #1 defenseman on the Leafs is Morgan Rielly. Given that they have Dermott, Holl, plus others in the minors, plus an off-season of trades and signings to go through, I am not worried.

- Matthews does not have a "fragile ego". He was one of the players that contacted Tavares before he made his decision and encouraged him to come to Toronto. If anything, this takes pressure OFF Matthews as teams will have to put the "shutdown" line against Tavares OR Matthews, but not both.

- Please give me ANY example of when he's been a "big minus when he doesn't get what he wants"? Like, any at all.

- Why the fuck would the Leafs ever consider trading a generational player like Matthews? He's a 40-goal scorer who hasn't turned 21 yet. He's scored more even strength goals in the past two seasons than anyone except Connor McDavid, with whom he is tied...and Matthews played 20 less games:


Rk Player EV Tm Pos GP
1 Auston Matthews 61 TOR C 144
2 Connor McDavid 61 EDM C 164
3 Vladimir Tarasenko 57 STL RW 162
4 Nikita Kucherov 54 TBL RW 154
5 Rickard Rakell 54 ANA C/RW 148

Provided by Hockey-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/3/2018.

posted by grum@work at 11:59 AM on July 03, 2018

I'm going to have to agree with grum on that one. I've never heard anything negative about Mathews or a fragile ego, and I think he'll absolutely feast on the additional space he is afforded by having Tavares on the squad. Assuming the Leafs keep Mathews with Nylander, maybe sliding Marleau up to the top line with him, opposing teams are going to have to deal with a Tavares-Hyman-? "Second Line" that most teams would kill to have. I think this makes the Leafs pretty scary for the foreseeable future, especially if they can get a couple of top-tier D pairings to emerge.

posted by tahoemoj at 06:04 PM on July 03, 2018

I've seen these lines suggested:

Marleau - Matthews - Nylander
Hyman - Tavares - Marner
Johnsson - Kadri - Kapanen


Hyman - Matthews - Nylander
Marleau - Tavares - Marner
Johnsson - Kadri - Kapanen

posted by grum@work at 04:07 PM on July 04, 2018

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