Kukla's Korner

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John Tavares In Toronto Is Working Out Well

from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,

Winning free agency doesn’t always equate to winning hockey, although it’s been a long while since the NHL had a free agent like John Tavares.

Still, it isn’t difficult to concoct a scenario where things might not have gone so well for a 28-year-old arriving into hockey’s largest market with the league’s second-highest cap hit and sky-high expectations.

And yet, through the first segment of games the Toronto Maple Leafs have played with Tavares, he’s come exactly as advertised and been worth every penny of the $15-million he was paid in a signing bonus on the afternoon he chose Toronto over five other free-agent finalists.

"What I like about him is he’s a pro. What I like about him is he’s calm," said coach Mike Babcock. "What I like about him is he doesn’t – none of this [media attention] matters, he’s just going to come and do his job and he’s a man....

He’s also helped the Leafs put points in the bank at a rate never before seen in the franchise’s 100-plus year history.

Truth be told, they had no business heading into the holiday break with Sunday’s 5-4 overtime win over the Detroit Red Wings. They did a poor job of controlling the puck and generating chances for half the night — Tavares and linemates Mitch Marner and Andreas Johnsson included — and fell behind to an opponent making up the gap in skill with will.

But talent is what wins in this league and it pulled Toronto back into the game.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+tavares

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com