John Tavares celebrates a goal against Tampa
Photo credit: NHL

One interesting development causing significant concern in Toronto

Published January 21, 2024 at 10:40

Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares has been the poster boy for consistency throughout his NHL career, scoring at a near point per game pace, with 1,009 points in 1,073 career NHL games. As consistent as he's been, though, we've seen Tavares' play this season take a noticeable dip with the former 1st overall pick heading towards uncharted territory and a probably decline as age takes hold.

Tavares went pointless last night in a 6-4 loss as Toronto was handed their fifth loss in six games. The Maple Leafs were outclassed by the surging Vancouver Canucks and the 33-year-old's pointless streak has now reached seven games. This is the longest Tavares has went without scoring in the NHL since his rookie season way back in 2009-10.

It's no conscience that Toronto's losses have piled up during Tavares's scoring drought. With the Core 4 accumulating such a high percentage of the cap in Toronto, it's imperative that they perform at the highest level. The team's structure only works if the Core 4 are giving the team their money's worth. If Tavares isn't providing the Leafs with nearly a point per game at his $11M cap hit, the Leafs have a big, big problem.

After beginning the season with 11 points in his first 7 games of the season, Tavares has cooled significantly. He has failed to record a point in 19 of the Leafs' 44 games, despite averaging 18:20 of ice time per game and playing a feature role on the team's powerplay, being flanked by either Mitch Marner or William Nylander all year long. He's clearly being put in a position to succeed, but for whatever reason, he's simply not executing as he once was.

The former 1st overall pick from 2009 is signed until the end of the 2024-25 season. Tavares and the Leafs will be able to begin negotiating terms on a new contract as early as July 1st. It has been widely accepted amongst the fan base that Tavares likely wants to end his career as a Leaf. However, if the captain wants to stick around beyond his current contract, he will need to do so at a significantly discounted rate, perhaps even less than half of his current salary. If his play continues to decline at this rapid pace, though, it might be best to part ways at the end of 2024-25.
January 21   |   912 answers
One interesting development causing significant concern in Toronto

Do you want Tavares to finish his career with the Maple Leafs?

Yes, but only at a signifigant discount61467.3 %
No, spend his cap hit elsewhere when it's time21924 %
Couldn't care less either way798.7 %
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