An Open Letter To John Tavares: Those Other Cities Are Terrible

Dear John,

I hope that this (open) letter finds you well. I received this rather eye-catching tweet via my internet account yesterday, and was both intrigued and perplexed by its contents.

Of course, it pleased me to no end to see that the Toronto Maple Leafs were among the teams attempting to court your favor during this interview period. They are, of course, both your hometown team and the club held dearest in my heart. It would be a dream come true to see you take to the ice alongside Auston Matthews, William Nylander and Mitchell Marner this upcoming season. I do hope that yesterday’s pitch will prove successful.

Nevertheless, I felt the need to write to you today, John, to express that I was somewhat troubled by the names of other clubs on your list. To be more specific, I was troubled by the fact that there were other teams from other smelly cities that you felt were worth your precious time yesterday. On the off chance that yesterday’s other interviews weren’t enough of a disaster to sway you north of the border, I felt obligated to compile the following listicle. It’s a list of reasons why the other cities on your list are, frankly, not nearly as good as Toronto.


Hey John, you’re a pretty calm guy. Could you seriously ever see yourself playing in front of this headcase?

Imagine playing for a team that’s so at odds with your temperament that committing seven years of your life to living in a city that pronounces words wrong for fun would be an afterthought on the list of reasons not to sign there. That’s the Boston Bruins.

Sure, they were the better team this spring when the Leafs and Bruins met, but how about an opportunity to be the difference-maker next time around, for your hometown team? Methinks that sounds like sweet revenge, and a lot of fun.

P.S. the Leafs are a lick-free environment.

Tampa Bay

John, remember how you have an opportunity to be a hometown hero and go down in history alongside Auston as probably the greatest one-two punch to ever bring a championship to Toronto?

Steven Stamkos does not remember this. And neither does that hair. That’s because Steven Stamkos made a mistake that you won’t make come July 1st. Don’t be like Steven, John. It’s not worth it.

San Jose

Okay, we admit it – having the chance to play alongside Jumbo Joe would actually be pretty cool.

Which is why we’ll also bring him to Toronto if you come home.

Please John, we’re begging you.


Maybe Dallas is kind of a cool city, who knows. What I do know is that the Dallas Stars normally do not make the playoffs, and the Toronto Maple Leafs have started to make a routine of doing the opposite.

And really, is a regular-season rivalry with the Houston Senators really going to be that great?

That’s pretty much Texas for you. You might say that Austin is a cool city, to which I would quickly reply that Auston is a much cooler hockey player. You know what to do.

Brooklyn / Long Island / Quebec / A Folded Franchise

  • Do you enjoy playing on slushy ice?
  • That trip back and forth between practices in Long Island and games in Brooklyn is great, huh?
  • How about looking at a bunch of screaming fans in blue and white cheering your name against the boards instead of a parked SUV and a whole bunch of empty space?
  • I thought Nassau was unfit for hockey? Guess it’s remarkably somehow serviceable again because it couldn’t be more trash than Barclays.
  • Do you really feel like waiting for them to build a new arena for you? If it ever actually gets done, that is.
  • The return of the Quebec Nordiques via relocation? Not nearly the best blue and white team I can think of.
  • When a franchise folds you don’t have a team. If you sign with the Leafs, you actually would have a team which is really cool.



  • good city
  • lots of fans (pictured above)
  • work from home
  • cute players
  • I tweet about you every day
  • you’ll probably be on cereal boxes and eggs and all that shit, basically a grade-A star


  • ?????

In Conclusion

John, I beg your favor once more as I bring to your attention the downsides of the other cities you are thinking of calling home. I shan’t question your judgment for even considering these clubs; I simply implore you to think of home and those who you love. And those who love you. Unless you sign somewhere else, in which case it’s over.

(please sign with the leafs)


Founded in 1950, Sports Excellence Corporation represents over 150 family-owned independent hockey retailers across Canada and the United States. Our highly knowledgeable hockey specialists are available to assist all your equipment needs. Find your closest Sports Excellence retailer here: Find a location near you!