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John Tavares Is The Next Big Star UFA Target For The Toronto Maple Leafs

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

With 11 points in their first 11 games, the Leafs are doing decently with a lineup that included seven rookies Thursday night in Buffalo. Stamkos has seven goals for Tampa already and Vesey has six for the Rangers, and with those two Mike Babcock would have had a more diversified offence.

Being spurned twice wasn’t really a setback for Toronto. It was just a missed chance to jump forward.

The next opportunity now looks like the summer of 2018, when John Tavares of the New York Islanders is slated to become a free agent. But the pressure points will come well before that.

In many ways, this opportunity lines up much better for the Leafs than Stamkos ever did. And while Tavares is saying all the right things about being an Islander for life, he would have to be a masochist to want to stay.

Right now, the Brooklyn-based Isles have fallen behind the Leafs in the Eastern Conference standings, albeit in the very early going. Unlike Toronto, however, the Islanders are supposed to be a team thinking seriously about post-season success.

GM Garth Snow had a terrible off-season, losing free agents Frans Nielsen (to the Red Wings), Kyle Okposo (to the Sabres) and Matt Martin (to the Leafs). Snow signed 30-year-old free agent Andrew Ladd to the tune of seven years and $38.5 million, and so far Ladd has responded with zero goals and one assist.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, 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