Leafs captain John Tavares could be heading West

This would be a strange sight, to say the least.

Michael W.

With the offseason officially full swing for the Toronto Maple Leafs, there lay ahead several notable decisions for Leafs general manager Brad Treliving to not only keep the team in contention during the regular season, but to get them over the hump in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

In the wake of their latest Round 1 loss to the rival Boston Bruins, the Leafs could very well look different next season, as several players on the current roster are set to become free agents. What's more, the likes of Mitch Marner and John Tavares are both up for new contracts after next season comes to a close. 

What exactly does the future hold for Tavares, who was named Leafs captain in his second year with the club? As you know, the Arizona Coyotes have officially moved to Utah - and the yet-to-be-named club could potentially swing a deal to acquire him for some immediate star power and name recognition for the fans of the new market. 

During a conversation on the "32 Thoughts" Podcast, Elliott Friedman and Jeff Marek discussed the future of Tavares, which Friedman believes is the Leafs for next season, only to have Marek say that he's heard through the grape vine that Utah could make a pitch for him. 

Friedman: "Everything can always be made to make sense to me but I am under the impression that Tavares is going to play in Toronto next year."

Marek: "I had a conversation with someone who wondered about a team like Utah and here's why, Utah has a lot of young players, Logan Cooley is an obvious one, Utah is most likely in the business for veteran players on short-term deals and the theory is that they could offer Tavares a pretty healthy number on a 2-yr contract as a why to entice him to waive a no-trade, would that make sense to you?"

Right now, the new franchise is simply known as the "Utah Hockey Club", and an official rebranding and mascot will be named prior to the 2025-26 season. 

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