Maple Leafs Captain John Tavares Responds To Question Of Waiving No-Trade Clause

There's no question that John Tavares' 7-year, $77M contract is becoming an albatross for the Toronto Maple Leafs. The captain is greatly respected within the locker room and the organization, but with two more seasons still to run, the 32-year-old veteran just isn't the player he once was. If the Leafs want to really open up some cap room flexibility, trading Tavares would be their best option. 

But when asked today about the possibility of waiving his full no-trade clause, Tavares had an emphatic answer:

“I love it here… I want to be here.” And, he wants to remain the captain.

So that's that. 

But he did add that he'd be open to spending more time on the wing, as that was experimented with a bit late this season, particularly after the Ryan O'Reilly acquisition. 

Tavares had just one assist in the Leafs' five-game elimination at the hands of the Florida Panthers, and his lack of speed, and effectiveness in 5-on-5 has been a problem. He did have somewhat of a rejuvenation in the regular season, with 80 points on 36 goals (though a large majority of them — 21 — came on the power play). 

There has been plenty of talk of possibly offering up his captaincy to Auston Matthews, if that would help retain the 2022 Hart Trophy winner on a long-term extension. 

But Tavares, who was born and bred in Toronto and remained a Leafs fan all his life, has his dream job, and he doesn't seem ready to give it up anytime soon.

Photo: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports