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NHL Insider Calls John Tavares' Leadership Into Question, Sparks Trade Talk


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Mark Parsons
February 28, 2024  (5:03 PM)
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Toronto Maple Leafs captain Joh Tavares
Photo credit: TSN

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John Tavares, the Toronto Maple Leafs captain, experienced a significant career shift after a poor performance and a noticeable turnover during a game against the Vegas Golden Knights. This incident led to his demotion, a situation he's never faced in his NHL career. Critics and fans have been vocal about his underperformance, especially given his substantial $11 million annual salary, making him the team's second-highest-paid player. This frustration was echoed across social media, with some suggesting he should be moved to the fourth line or even scratched from upcoming games.

Tavares Experiencing Decline in Offense Output

Despite the backlash, Tavares aimed to maintain a positive outlook, recognizing the change as a team decision to enhance overall performance. However, his reduced ice time and removal from the No. 1 power-play unit during the Vegas game—coupled with a costly error—suggested he might be struggling with the adjustment more than he admits.

Time For Toronto To Trade Tavares?

Sports analysts, including Jonas Siegel from The Athletic, speculate that Tavares' age and the wear of 15 NHL seasons are catching up with him, making further demotions likely. Siegel suggests that the Maple Leafs might seek a new second-line center before the trade deadline to possibly replace Tavares or shift him to a wing position, a role more suited to his current abilities. This period marks a significant transition for Tavares and the Maple Leafs as the trade deadline approaches.
As Read On Hockey Feed - Another demotion for Tavares leads to trade rumours in Toronto!
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NHL Insider Calls John Tavares' Leadership Into Question, Sparks Trade Talk

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