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Photo Credit: PHOTO CREDIT: BRAD PENNER-USA TODAY SPORTS

John Tavares is a Toronto Maple Leaf

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Now that that’s out of my system…

After almost a week of nervously scrolling through Twitter for the latest #TavaresWatch news, waiting for Tavares to eliminate teams like they’re on the Bachelor, we finally have our answer.

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Despite the nightmares of 30 fanbases, John Tavares is now a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Chosen over the Islanders, Sharks, Lightning, Bruins, and Stars, the Leafs signed Tavares to a 7 year contract, worth $11 million per year.

While he shouldn’t need an introduction, Tavares has accumulated 272 goals and 621 points in 669 games over nine seasons with the Islanders, the team he was drafted with. His 621 points ranks 9th in the NHL since he entered the league, despite the fact that he’s never played with an elite winger (aside from 47 games of Thomas Vanek in 2013-14).

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After missing the playoffs for the second year in a row, the Islanders overhauled their management and staff, including the hiring of former Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello. But, young Dubas learned plenty from him, and ended up with the best player from his new franchise.

The addition of Tavares gives the Leafs one of the best center depths in the league, as he joins Auston Matthews and Nazem Kadri down the middle. All three centers were one of the 18 centers this season to score 30 or more goals.

Considering that there were rumours he’d get close to $12 million, an $11 million cap hit is not bad for him, and would make the cap *slightly* more manageable. Not that $11 or $12 million is a huge difference at that point, but every penny counts.

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Is this real life?

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  • Matmarwill

    JT made the right decision. By joining the leafs, they instantly become a real contender. The young core are going to get better. Yes, the d needs to improve, but they are drafting well and several good prospects are on the way. With the marlies being a model player development pipeline, the parent club will maintain a flow of cheap young talent to augment the more expensive stars. Will be fun to watch.

  • FlareKnight

    I think that covers the only proper reaction here: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

    Holy crap this is real life. Tavares is a Leaf! I never could have believed this would happen. An elite #1 center said “yeah I’m coming home to win!”