John Tavares is officially a Toronto Maple Leaf. But that nearly wasn’t the case.

Six teams were seriously in the hunt for the 27-year-old but the Leafs ultimately landed him on a 7-year $77 million contract. A different team, however, offered a higher contract for his services. TSN’s Frank Seravalli reported that the San Jose Sharks are believed to have offered him a seven-year $91 million contract.

11 mill is nothing to sneeze at but it’s clear that Tavares’ decision was about more than just money. Shortly after signing, he posted a photo of himself as a kid in full Leafs gear and claimed he’s now going to be able to live out his childhood dream.



A dream come true for John #Tavares.

A post shared by TSN (@tsn_official) on

The Islanders appeared to be the next team on his list, but he made sure to address the organization and its fans after the move. From the looks of it, this decision was as difficult as it gets.


Whatever happened in the days leading up to today are now meaningless. He will now try to lead the Leafs to their first Stanley Cup since 1967.



Your first look at the new threads 👀 • (📷: @mapleleafs)

A post shared by TSN (@tsn_official) on

(H/T Frank Seravalli)