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NHL Rumours: The Future of Toronto Maple Leafs Forward

Welcome to another edition of NHL Rumours! The Florida Panthers have a commanding 2-0 lead in the Stanley Cup Finals. As the series progresses along, the offseason becomes closer and closer. The free agency frenzy is almost underway and the buzz is growing bigger. Today’s rumours focus on the Toronto Maple Leafs and their forward group.

NHL Rumours

Rumour: Jeff Marek on The Jeff Marek Show discusses the future of John Tavares

The biggest name surrounding the Toronto Maple Leafs is Mitch Marner. He is in the final year of his contract and has a no movement clause in his contract. General Manager Brad Treliving is hoping history does not repeat itself, as Marner can play the final year of his deal and potentially walk away for nothing. The attention is on him, but there is another player with a future in question.

Captain John Tavares is also in the final year of his deal. He makes a whopping $11 million and has a full no movement clause. Safe to say, moving him would be quite the challenge and he would have to sign off on it. One team that Marek brings up that could be a fit and make sense is Utah.

Utah Could Look to Aim Big

The latest NHL Rumours surrounding the Leafs for once isn’t around Marner. Instead, it’s the captain Tavares and his future playing days in the NHL. Marek brings up Utah and for a specific reason.

First and foremost, Utah will have a lot of salary cap space to work with. Also, they have a young team that is led by Clayton Keller. In addition, the team has a blossoming young centre in Logan Cooley. Having all this young talent is great, but adding a veteran goes a long ways for a group like that. Thats the link Marek is making here.

He goes on to say that Utah can offer him a short term contract and a sizable figure to entice him. He may not make the $11.25 million, but it would be high enough to lure him in. He is a good leader and a captain, so he would be a huge presence in the Utah locker room. Tavares is still an effective two way centre and is still producing at a good rate. During the 2023-24 season, scored 29 goals and 65 points. He had 80 points the year before, so he’s still playing effective hockey.

The biggest hurdle would be waiving his no move clause and with the Maple Leafs in contention mode, moving him doesn’t seem likely.

Maybe Not This Year, but Next

Moving Tavares may not happen this year. He is a native of the area and would likely finish his contract out with the team. However, anything can make sense and be put together.

Utah will have the money and the compensation to rope him in. But Tavares would have to sign off on it and want to join Utah. Tavares could be part of a very big spending spree for Utah, which would help them be more competitive. Everyone is on Marner watch, but the future of Tavares is intriguing.

Main Photo: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports


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