Connor Brown Expects More Hometown Boys To Join Leafs After Tavares Signing.

Published August 3, 2018 at 11:17

Before Auston Matthews arrived, Toronto wasn't exactly a prime target for free agents. With Matthews around that changed as we saw experienced vets like Patrick Marleau and Ron Hainsey take a chance and sign contracts with Toronto. Now with hometown boy John Tavares signing long term in Toronto, we might see a bus load of hometown boys be willing to come home. Leafs' forward Connor Brown believes things have changed drastically now in regards to players being scared to sign in Toronto because of media and fan pressure. "I felt like I was lucky to be drafted by the Leafs. A lot of guys from Toronto, every kind of has that perception that you don't want to play in Toronto because it's non-stop and it's 365 days. But for me, I love it. They've done such a good job sheltering us. We've got such a good thing going on. Everything you hear from the fans – everyone is excited. We had a tough series last year, but they haven't been down on us at all, I've felt, this summer. It's just sheer excitement. It's cool to be a part of, especially having watched them growing up."
The Tavares process was fun to follow for Brown and like the fans, is pumped for the upcoming season. "As a player, that's a tough time. You lose a lot of buddies in that time. Bozie, JVR, Leo, Marty – you lose buddies. It's highs and lows. But to be able to sign a top-five guy in the league… every team wanted him. It's nice that he sees what we're trying to build here and he believes in what we are doing here. He's excited to play at home, like a lot of us are. A lot of us love playing at home now. It's really exciting for me. He's pumped. We're pumped. The season can't come quickly enough."

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