There have long been rumors that should New York Islanders captain John Tavares leave the Islanders, he would almost certainly be headed back to his home province to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
However on Wednesday morning Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman seemingly burst that bubble and the hopes of fans of the Maple Leafs in the process when he suggested that wouldn't be the case.
While Friedman stated clearly that he believes Tavares' first choice would be to remain with the Islanders should the team be able to work out a new arena deal, he did say that another Eastern Conference team could be the favorite to land him.
“You know what? I hate to spoil it for everybody up here,” said Friedman as per Fanrag's Chris Nichols. “If he leaves, I don’t think he’s coming to Toronto.”
“I always hate these answers because then it ends up on some Twitter feed and my phone starts ringing,” said the Insider. “Put it this way: I wrote it last year. I wonder if he would go to a place like Tampa to play with Stamkos.”
Should Tavares in fact opt to join the Tampa Bay Lightning, that would likely leave fans in Toronto extremely disappointed, this despite the fact that at no point has Tavares himself indicated that he has interest in joining the Maple Leafs.