NHL Rumor Mill – August 20, 2017

by | Aug 20, 2017 | Rumors | 39 comments

Could John Tavares sign a one-year deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs?

Latest Toronto Maple Leafs speculation in your Sunday NHL rumor mill.

TSN: If New York Islanders center John Tavares hits the open market next summer, Craig Button believes the Toronto Maple Leafs should ink him to a one-year deal while Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner are still on their entry-level contracts. He feels the Leafs can fit the elite No.1 center under their cap payroll for 2018-19 and suggests pairing Tavares with Marner on the Leafs’ second line.

Button notes there’s a precedent for this, pointing out Marian Hossa inked a one-year contract as a UFA back in 2008 with the Detroit Red Wings. Hossa helped the Wings reach the 2009 Stanley Cup Final and suggested Tavares might do the same for the Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: An interesting suggestion by Button, something that just might work…assuming, of course, Tavares heads to free agency next summer, accepts a one-year contract and would be content playing second fiddle to Matthews.

A lot can happen between now and next July. We know Tavares is very loyal to the Islanders, but he wants to ensure the club is heading in the right direction before committing to a new contract. If the Isles stumble again and continue to face uncertainty regarding their arena issues, Tavares could opt to join a more stable organization with a better chance of winning the Cup.

The Leafs won’t be Tavares’ only option. Depending on their performance in the upcoming season, they might not even be part of the equation. 

For now, it’s all pointless speculation during the dog days of the NHL offseason. Tavares’ future will become clearer by June 2018. 

TSN: Dave Poulin expects it will cost the Toronto Maple Leafs between $6-$7 million annually to re-sign forward William Nylander, who is entering the final season of his entry-level contract. He points to the bar being set this summer by the new contracts of Edmonton Oilers stars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, plus Nylander’s potential status among the Leafs core. If the Leafs have determined Nylander is to be part of their core, Poulin suggests Calgary Flames forwards Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau as contract comparables.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nylander tallied 61 points in 81 games last season and four points in six playoff games. A significant improvement in his performance this season will ensure he gets a big raise on a long-term deal for perhaps as much suggested by Poulin. Unless, of course, the Leafs decide to shop him for a top-two defenseman. That rumor surfaced occasionally last season and could pop up again if the Toronto blueline struggles in 2017-18. 



  1. Why in the world would Tavares sign a one year contract with any team? He’s earned a long term deal.

    • I agree 100%. Why would he sign a one year deal? Players may be willing to leave something on the table, but I doubt any player is willing to leave that much on the table.

      • Not to mention the real prospect of suffering a serious career-threatening injury during that 1 year.

      • Button is pointless, period! 🙂

    • Hey, it’s Maple Leafs, people wants to play there for minimum and even for one year…

    • Just because Craig Button says TML should sign JT doesn’t mean JT should. Unless its $15m for one season.

    • That sort of thinking is one of the reasons Button is no longer an NHL GM

      • As usual, Button is out in left field. This guy has always had an odd perspective and it colors his insight.

    • Completely agree…It is an annalist trying to justify his salary during the dog days of summer in the NHL. Annalist’s when it comes to Toronto are like a car accident. You know the information is bad and there is nothing you could but you look anyway.

      • If you wish to cast aspersions, have the wherewithal to at least spell analyst correctly.However I agree the notion is absurd.

    • Exactly and if he suffered a career ending injury during that one year stint he would leave tens of millions on the table. Why risk it at this stage of his career – perhaps because he loves the Leafs as much as he TSN reporters do

    • Because the hack media in Toronto always speculate that every free agent IS going to sign there but they never do

      Heck…Sedins contracts will be up. Canucks have a fresh batch of wingers that would LOVE to play with Tavares.
      Could be a sick line for years

    • As a Pens fan it pains me to say my prediction is Tavares stays on ny, but not with the islanders.. .

  2. What top pairing d men would even be available in trade? Faulk maybe. Oel of Phoenix continues to struggle? Top d is essentially draft and develop

  3. What would signing Tavares at 12m do to Matthews upcoming deal?

    • mathews – 8 years 112 mil

      • you really believe Mathews will make more than Connor Mcdavid…..Mathews will make approx. 10million per year…..maybe a little more depending on his performance over the next 2 seasons

      • What from what I read yesterday $200m should do it and everyone will sing the glory.

      • If the cap creeps up bit by bit then he could . If he grows on last season he might.

      • @crisms, I hope that’s sarcasm, otherwise you’re off your trolley tracks.

      • get paid more than mcdavid? there are lots of ifs but no one can rule it out. personally I wouldnt bet on it but if he improves on last season and cap goes up a bit then I could see it happening. I guess you would call it half sarcasm. Does that mean I’m riding on one rail?

      • one can only balance on one leg for so long before either tipping over or putting the other one down to balance.

      • I hope Toronto signs Matthews to a HUGE deal. Bigger than McDavid.
        This way Toronto can watch their team be EXACTLY the same team of 1998-2008
        One top center and a revolving door of crap overpaid free agents and bad deals and even more terrible drafting.

      • Have you never ridden a…


  4. I think this is rather an embarrassing comment on behalf of Button.
    If anyone has been listening to Tavares and his comments he has been very forward describing his ambitions on a long term deal and put it behind him where Ever he goes …he wants to settle in on a team not be bliwn around by the wind he is to classy for that. Imo the Leafs should stay away and go with the core they are developing and sign the big 3 long term …it has been a blessing in disguise in regards to Stamkos …so learn from that and stay the course and leave money on the table for the right move that actually plugs a true hole and need on the team ….the have all ready over paid both Zaitsev and Marleau …by adding Tavares when it’s not needed would actually hurt them long term.
    Leafs need a true legit back end high end quarter back one defense concentrate there and don’t take your eye off the ball.
    In 2 to 3 years Nylander and Marner will be out pacing Tavares at most likely a combined 14 million where ad Tavares will cost 11 million …rather have 2 players instead of 1 …imho

    • Craig Button makes a habit of embarrassing comments. According to him, every kid that was drafted in the first round will be a star in the NHL.
      Of course John Tavares will not sign anywhere for one year and by far the most likely scenario sees him re-signing with the Islanders.
      Could people just let the Leafs do their thing and see what happens down the road?

    • Disagree about over paying Marleau. He is seen as one of the most “in-shape” guys in the league by his peers. Always been seen as the consumate pro hockey player. Just what he can teach the kids about fitness, and what it takes to be an NHL star, will be invaluable to the Leafs. Even if Marleau has a bad seaon, the contract is still worth it.

      • Overpaid . 100% for marleau at this stage . Would any other team pay 6.25 X 3 for marleau ? Answer is a clear NO .
        On the flip side those Mcdavid is overpaid , would any other team pay 12.5 x 8 for Mcdavid ? The answer is , all of them , for more than 12.5 if given the chance . Underpaid . Every team had there chance with marleau .

      • Should read those who say Mcdavid is overpaid .

  5. Craig button is usually very well spoken and his thoughts are solid. But to say Taveras will sign with the leafs for one year is out to lunch. I agree with the argument of why the leafs would sign him to a one-year contract. But there is no rationale to show that Taveras would sign a one year deal. His reasoning is Hossa did. That’s not a rationale for the Tavares, I’m sorry.

    • Button said Tavares SHOULD sign for a year in Toronto, Scott. Not that he WILL. Big difference.

      • According to TSN, Button said something like “Toronto should ink John Tavares to a one-year deal”. Makes me laugh, because the phrase implies that Tavares couldn’t possibly reject an offer from the Leafs. Yes, Button is well spoken, but he shows blatant favouritism towards certain teams, as does TSN. In so doing, Button and those of his ilk, lack substance in much of what they say. In other words, they are “talking heads,” which networks such as TSN, wind up with a key and let chatter away, just to fill space.

      • I think you all read to much into others words and cant wait to throw insults when some does voice an opinion.

  6. Your next shift could be your last. You are never really the exact same after an serious injury. A lot of people who have not played do not understand. So there is risk and if I am JT I am not rolling the dice for one year regardless of the opportunity. Who is winning the cup next year ?

    • As Toe Blake once observed “predictions are for gypsies.”

  7. Leafs are still a long way from competing for Lord Stanley I do believe there heading in the right direction but really need to work on there D. Toronto may need to sacrifice a young forward for a real good defenseman. If they pay to much for their kids than they won’t win it all they must hold the line on over paying for potential. They need to be patient and not rush things now and yes I know it’s been along time since their last cup.

  8. Button is more media hack than hockey guru these days. He knows what gets talked about in Toronto where he often does spots on Sports radio. Not saying that he is wrong, but at Tavares’ age, he’s not likely to go for any sort of 1 year deal, even to compete for a cup with his favorite team in his home town. For insurance reasons alone, I can’t imagine him taking less than 3 years if he does move.

  9. Comparing Nylander to McDavid or Draisaitl is laughable.
    He is neither a C at this point nor a bull like LD on the wing.
    More like a Kucherov & thats a reach IMO.

    He gets Gaudreau or Drouin money or he’s overpayed.

    6-6.5m/7yrs is the top offer

  10. All you morons who think Leaf fans want tavares!!!No we don’t!!!
    All this speculation come from idiot reporters.and to the goofball who says leaf fans have ever said Nylander is on the same level as McDavid! NO WE HAVEN’T!!!