Teams still wait to see what John Tavares decision will be with the Toronto Maple Leafs still in the running according to reports.
With each passing day, it is hard to ignore the amount of anticipation building as teams anxiously await the decision John Tavares will make on his future.
Obviously, Saturday is an important day as it is the last day that he can sign an eight-year deal with the Islanders but with the decision coming to the wire, it starts to look less promising for a reunion in Long Isl…..Brook…. wherever the team will be playing.
At the same time, Tavares may have already decided that he wants to return but wants to be sure by taking the time to process everything, there’s just no way of knowing. Almost every team that met with the 27-year-old offers something different especially the Leafs, Islanders, and Sharks.
New York is the team he knows best which both helps their case and also gives them a reason for concern. They have failed to give him a reason to stay because he would not be in this position if they did but have also taken steps to try and convince him that things will be different.
The Sharks have an enticing situation where he could go in their and San Jose would be a contender for the Stanley Cup. They are capitalizing on players in their prime with Brent Burns, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Evander Kane signed to a long-term deal and Logan Couture not far along.
The one knock against them is whether they can sustain it over the long haul as they don’t have as long of a window to compete. This was something that was discussed at great lengths on the latest episode of the Tip of the Tower podcast.
Then there’s the Leafs who many expect to have strong odds and like the Sharks a roster that is built to compete now. The obvious difference is that the Leafs core is younger and hasn’t entered their prime yet but not without its faults.
Defensively the team has work to do to improve but with Frederik Andersen in net and Mike Babcock behind the bench, it’s not as bad as many would perceive but not a slam dunk sell for the top available player in recent memory.
Everyone knows that Tavares leaving could be a game changer not only for the team he decides to sign with but other players who could consider free agency down the road. That should have many anxious but excited considering that free agency doesn’t usually have a star player get this close usually.
It might be tough for some fans to enjoy because it can be a big letdown when it doesn’t go their way but usually the journey is worthwhile when it happens.
Leafs Nation is hoping that will be the case.