There’s no reason John Tavares shouldn’t be a Maple Leaf for the rest of his NHL career

Photo credit:Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Alberga
2 months ago
In 559 days from now, the current captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs is slated to become an unrestricted free agent once again.
Here’s hoping that John Tavares didn’t dream about playing for any other NHL team but the Maple Leafs as a child.
Jokes aside, undoubtedly, the Leafs could use that ideology to their benefit as they strategize for the future. Not that either side has said anything publicly to this point, but it wouldn’t be surprising in the slightest to see the 33-year-old re-sign with his hometown team —as early as next summer. On Canada Day 2024, just like his fellow teammate Mitch Marner, Tavares will be eligible to sign a new extension with Toronto. While there’s no telling what the future may hold, there’s no question the relationship has gone swimmingly so far. John Tavares loves being a Maple Leaf and the Maple Leafs love John Tavares. Now six years into this love affair, it’s been a match-made in heaven pretty much since the day he signed.
With all that in mind, the speculation over his future with the organization has already begun with two monumental factors being at the forefront: Money and term. Suffice it is to say, it would be wise to fully prepare yourselves for the pay cut conversations. They’re coming.
Brace yourselves accordingly.
Indisputably, there’s a pathway to Tavares being a Leaf for the rest of his career, but ultimately, that will come down to his financial aspirations.
Many have pointed to the Claude Giroux contract in Ottawa as a fair comparable. In the long run, three years at $6.5 million per season seems very reasonable, although it’s understandable to suggest Tavares probably deserves a tad more. Furthermore, not to draw a complete comparison, but it will be fascinating to see what comes of the Steven Stamkos situation in Tampa. It’s different because he’s won multiple times there, and he also has no geographical attachment to the area. That’s more of a legacy conversation more than anything else.
Any way you slice it, this marriage doesn’t have to end any time soon. Ultimately, it’s likely that the ball will be firmly in Tavares’ court from the onset.
Tick, tock.
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