Insider proposes shocking move involving John Tavares.

Insider proposes shocking move involving John Tavares.

Would the Toronto Maple Leafs seriously consider doing this with the captain of their tea?

Jonathan Larivee

The Toronto Maple Leafs have suffered another tough first round exit in the Stanley Cup playoffs and once again it has come at the hands of the Boston Bruins in a Game 7 scenario. It seems inevitable that changes will be made within the organization, whether that be changes to the front office, changes to the roster, or some combination of both, but the question on everyone's mind in Toronto is what shape will those changes take?

On a recent episode of the 32 Thoughts podcast, National Hockey League insider Elliotte Friedman revealed that someone had suggested to him a truly seismic change to the Toronto Maple Leafs roster. In the scenario he laid out, Maple Leafs captain John Tavares' tenure with his hometown team would come to an end effective immediately.

"Someone said to me if they really wanted to send a message, I mean really wanted to send a message, what they could do is buyout Tavares," said Friedman on the 32 Thoughts podcast. "Now from a salary cap point of view it doesn't make a lot of sense... so it really doesn't change your cap picture a lot, but boy would it send shockwaves through your roster."

The reason the buyout wouldn't have a large financial impact on the Maple Leafs' salary cap is due to how former Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas structured Tavares' contract. Tavares deal is heavily loaded with signing bonuses, which are not impacted by a buyout, effectively giving Tavares a level of buyout protection in his contract.

Despite this, Friedman believes that there are general managers in the NHL that would pull the trigger on this type of a move.

"I think there are GMs in the league that would absolutely consider that," said Friedman. "I am just not convinced that the Maple Leafs are gonna do that."

It would definitely send shockwaves through the team, but whether or not the Maple Leafs are prepared to go through with such a bold decision remains to be seen.