John Tavares talk dominates the airwaves during the slow news cycle, Zach Hyman discusses potentially playing away from Auston Matthews, and more in the links.

Leafs Links

Button: Leafs should sign Tavares to a one-year deal (TSN)
With the Maple Leafs‘ window of opportunity starting to open, Craig Button feels that Toronto should ink John Tavares to a one-year deal. Why only one year? Our Director of Scouting explains.

I think it’s a very good possibility. Here’s why:

There is a lot of talk about windows of opportunity for teams based on where they’re at. For the Toronto Maple Leafs, with their good young players on entry-level contracts, you think, “What a great opportunity.”

Why does John Tavares fit with the Toronto Maple Leafs? I’m proposing a one-year deal for John Tavares while Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner are still on ELCs. They can clearly fit him in. He’s an elite number-one center. When you consider Mike Babcock’s real like for duos, how about this: Matthews-Nylander, Tavares-Marner, Kadri-Brown. That is a pretty good 1-2-3 when you consider duos. For the Toronto Maple Leafs, I think that John Tavares could fit into their situation on a one-year deal.

You may ask, “Why would John Tavares sign a one-year deal?” Well, there is precedent for this. All you have to do is just go back to 2008 when Marian Hossa signed with the Detroit Red Wings. Yes, those very same Detroit Red Wings that had Mike Babcock as their head coach. They fell in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup playoffs in 2009, but Marian Hossa made them a much better team. Would John Tavares do that for the Toronto Maple Leafs? Absolutely.

And you might want to look at the NBA. Kevin Durant did the same thing for the Golden State Warriors. He signed a two-year deal with an opt-out, which he exercised. This is not without precedent.

Toronto Maple Leafs may dream about John Tavares. I don’t think it’s so much of a dream. In fact, I think it’s something that has real legs and could be real possible. If John Tavares has to look at this from the perspective of who has the better chance of winning in the near future, I think it’s clearly the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Darren Dreger with The Instigators on John Tavares’ contract situation (WGR550)
TSN Insider Darren Dreger joined WGR550 on Friday morning to discuss Tavares’ contract situation and more.

I can remember back during the regular season reporting that if Tavares didn’t have a deal essentially in the top drawer of Garth Snow’s office desk by June that there was a chance that he’d be traded. And then something changed. I think that there is a comfort between John Tavares and the new ownership of the New York Islanders. Not to mention that I think he has a great relationship with Garth Snow, who did a lot of positive things to better the Islanders as a team during the offseason and around the NHL draft with the moves that he made.

Hyman ready for a move if Marleau joins Matthews (Toronto Sun)
“I just want to be here and help and it started off with a bang last year, with Auston’s four goals. He’s a great player, a great friend of mine and it was fun to get to know him and be part of all that. He makes good players around him better and you see how humble he is off the ice. I played with him pretty much every game last year and we had some good chemistry, but whatever happens, happens. The thing about our team is that we are really close. Whoever you play with, you have a good relationship with that person.”

Bourne: How joining a coaching staff changed how I watch hockey (The Athletic)
In my opinion, people who coach hockey watch the game – whether they do it consciously or not – a little differently than the casual fan. While the fan is generally watching for events – shots, saves, goals, hits or fights – people breaking down the game are identifying in-game situations. Again: It’s less complex than one might think.

Button: Managing cap with elite players a good problem for Leafs (TSN1050)
TSN Hockey analyst Craig Button joined Mike Hogan on the Scott MacArthur Show to discuss Leon Draisaitl’s new deal, if the Maple Leafs are looking at a similar financial future, and what could be in store for John Tavares in the coming seasons.

Top 25 Under 25 #11: Andreas Johnsson (PPP)
Ultimately, Johnsson’s shot totals were good, at just under two per game; he shot less than the top forwards on the team, but his most frequent linemate was also shot machine Kerby Rychel, so Johnsson may have been deferring to his winger at times. Andreas’ shooting percentage was in the high-but-reasonable range—14.5%, which is not too crazy for an AHL sniper. Nothing about his offence jumps out as unsustainable; his calling card isn’t going to be his defence, but he’s been improving enough in that respect. The signs on Johnsson all look pretty good.