The NHL’s most sought-after free agent in several years is off the market. The Toronto Maple Leafs signed unrestricted free agent center John Tavares to a seven-year contract. The deal will pay him a total of $77M, $11M per year.
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) July 1, 2018
Toronto Maple Leafs Sign Free Agent John Tavares to Mega-Deal
The future of Tavares has been a hot topic all season, and it really heated up when the New York Islanders failed to obtain a playoff spot once again this season. Over his nine-year NHL career, the 27-year old has been loyal to the Islanders and was originally drafted by them in the first round, first overall of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Because of this, the move is particularly significant.
This move is made even more so as Tavares ended the season with another career-high, putting up 37 goals and 47 assists for 87 points in 82 games. Tavares also added a meager 26 minutes in penalties. His possession numbers were 49.4 percent Corsi and a relative Corsi of +2.6.
Over his nine-year NHL career, Tavares has scored 272 goals and 349 assists for 621 points in 669 career games. He has added 11 goals and 11 assists for 22 points in 24 career Stanley Cup Playoff games.
Tavares thanked the Islanders in various lengthy posts via his Twitter account.
— John Tavares (@91Tavares) July 1, 2018
What This Means For The Future.
In Tavares, the Leafs get a formidable high-quality player. The Canadian forward has the offensive ability to consistently perform each game. While his defensive awareness creates unquestionable value in center depth. This NHL All-Star will pack a punch to the Leafs offense next season.
Although a heavy loss for the Islanders, it will create more salary space for other players like Anders Lee who’s contract is due to expire next year and Josh Bailey, who was re-signed earlier this year for another six years.
Main Photo: NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 25: John Tavares #91 of the New York Islanders skates against the Boston Bruins at the Barclays Center on March 25, 2017 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Bruins defeated the Islanders 2-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)