Maple Leafs Rumors: Ex-GM Would Do “Everything in my Power” To Trade John Tavares

The discussion on Toronto sports radio has been centered around Mitch Marner for much of the spring so far (when it hasn't revolved around the new coach Craig Berube, and his recent meeting over coffee with Marner). But when former NHL GM Doug MacLean was asked by insider Nick Kypreos on Sportsnet what he'd do about the Marner situation, he instead turned his focus to another expiring contract on the Toronto Maple Leafs:

I'll tell you what I would do. I would do everything in my power to get John Taveras out of there. That's what I'd be doing. 

It just doesn't fit. It doesn't fit right now. 

MacLean and Kypreos were in agreement that Berube likely wants to see Marner stay. But the captain, who has for a long time been playing well under the value of his $11 million cap hit, is the one who all involved would be just fine to see go out the door. 

Tavares is still a very good player, make no mistake, having registered 29 goals and 65 points this past year in his age-33 season. But Marner is a difference-maker on offense, can make those around him better, and is a staple on the top power play and penalty kill units. Yes, admittedly, his playoff performances have been sketchy. 

However, like Marner, Tavares also owns a full no-move clause, and is seen as even more emphatically adamant about not not wanting to leave Toronto. But MacLean would like to see the team try to talk Tavares into realizing it might be best to move on. 

"I didn't say push him out," clarifies MacLean, "Try to work with him to make this a really good situation where we can put you somewhere that's gonna give you a chance to win a Cup, or prolong your career or something. Is there some way to talk to him?"

From what we're hearing, it doesn't sound like Tavares—the hometown boy who, as everyone knows by now, went to sleep in his Leafs pyjamas as a kid—wants to hear any of that. 

And so the drama in Leaf Land continues. 

Photo: © Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports