John Tavares prepping for game action
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Leafs captain John Tavares reveals plans for his future beyond next season

Published January 8, 2024 at 1:51 PM
BY MIKE ARMENTI

You'd be hard-pressed to find any 2nd line center around the NHL with a more favourable position than Leafs captain John Tavares, who either has Mitch Marner or William Nylander riding shotgun with him on any given night.

Tavares has had the luxury of playing alongside two of the best wingers in the game in Toronto in recent years, but his most common linemate has been William Nylander, and the two have experienced a lot of success with one another, especially Nylander, who is on pace for a career year.

Nylander's mega-extension with the Leafs was announced today after months of speculation over whether he would remain in Toronto or pursue a deal elsewhere in free agency this summer. However, if you ask Tavares, he always knew Nylander would remain a Leaf beyond this season. There was never a doubt in his mind.

"I didn't have any doubts; it's just the beginning for him."- Tavares on Nylander's negotiations



Tavares told the media last week that Nylander was built to play in Toronto. With the way Nylander handles himself around the city and with the media, I'm sure that not too many people would disagree with Tavares' sentiments. Even Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe has commented on Willy's confidence, calling him "unflappable".

This summer, Tavares himself will be in a similar position to the one Nylander was in since July 1st of 2022, eligible to sign an extension. However, Tavares likely won't try to delay anything and sit on this for more than a year, as Nylander had done before signing his extension today. If Tavares' comments on Monday are any indication, he plans to have everything sorted out much more quickly.

On Monday, the Leafs captain let his feelings be known on what he's hoping the future will hold for him and his plans beyond next season. Those plans are to remain in Toronto.


If Tavares does indeed opt to re-up with the Leafs, it certainly won't be at the lofty $11M cap hit that he currently carries. As a player nearing the twilight of his career, it's far more likely that we end up seeing something a little closer to the deal that Anze Kopitar recently signed with the Kings - a two-year deal worth $7M per season.

With the rising cap, combined with the expected drop off in Tavares' salary, the financial forecast in Toronto over the next few years doesn't actually look half bad, especially when you consider the fact that they'll have 4 players on the roster making $10.9M or more.
POLL
January 8   |   2522 answers
Leafs captain John Tavares reveals plans for his future beyond next season

How much is the most you'd pay John Tavares per season on a new deal in Toronto?

$10M or more763 %
$7M-$9.9M55021.8 %
$4M-$6.99M172368.3 %
I wouldn't want him back1736.9 %
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