Ever since John Tavares was just 14 years old, he was seen as an extraordinary player. In fact, Tavares is one of only five players who has gained “exceptional player” status. He was the youngest player to ever be drafted into the OHL and put up some absurd numbers during his junior hockey career with the Oshawa Generals.
In the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, he was drafted 1st overall by the New York Islanders. With surpassing 8 seasons in his NHL career, he already has established himself as one of the elite talents in the NHL
With 621 points in 669 games, the Mississauga native has found great individual success in the NHL.
However, creeping in on his veteran years as a 27-year-old center, Tavares has yet to find success at the playoff level.
Tavares has only made the playoffs in three out of his eight seasons in the league. In his three playoff appearances, he played in 24 games and scored 11 goals and tallied 11 assists for 22 points.
Tavares was only able to escape the first round in one of these post-season series with a win over the Florida Panthers during the 2015-2016 NHL Playoffs.
At the end of the day, it is every player’s dream to hoist the Stanley Cup. As a player in the sweet spot of his prime with no playoff success, “JT” should sign with a team that has a bright future and a place for him to solidify his home starting this 2018 season.
This 2018 UFA has been rumored to go to Toronto, Buffalo, Montreal, San Jose, or even back to the New York Islanders. Philadelphia has not been named as a destination but, the city would be a perfect fit for the offensive juggernaut.
First of all, affordability isn’t an issue with the Flyers as they have more than enough cash to land Tavares. The team is expected to have around 25.5 million dollars in cap space (with a Jori Lethera buyout and if the maximum cap space is raised by 5 million dollars).
Tavares will most likely receive a contract in the 10-13 million dollar range. The Flyers are more than capable of offering the Islanders center a deal in this range.
The Flyers also have so much offensive talent that Tavares would love playing with. A top six consisting of Simmonds, Tavares, Couturier, Giroux, Konecny, and Voracek would be exceptional. The third line of Lindblom, Frost, and Patrick would also be a great line to provide depth scoring for the stacked top six.
Another intriguing offer to Tavares in Philly, is Gostibehere and Provorov, a proven elite pairing on the back end.
Lastly, the holes in the sub-par defense and the goaltending situation can be filled with the remaining cap space if needed. To temporarily fix the goaltending situation until Carter Hart arrives, the Flyers could sign an average goalie such as Robin Lehner to a one-year deal worth around four million dollars.
As for defense, the Flyers could probably target a guy like Mike Green or Ian Cole but, will most likely pass for now so that they can develop the young players on the defensive side of the puck.
Overall, with Tavares, the Flyers would be a playoff contender for sure. With the expected top nine forwards including Tavares, this team would most likely have a top three offense in the National Hockey League.
Defense and Goaltending would most likely be average. However, with this high powered offense, and the emergence of Carter Hart, this team can be a contender for years to come.
Written by Ed Stokes (@Eichel_x_15). All Stats Courtesy of Hockeydb.
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