In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past 24 hours, John Tavares is now a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs. The superstar free agent officially parted ways with the New York Islanders yesterday afternoon to sign a seven year, $77 million contract with his hometown Leafs, ending months of rumors and speculation.
Now just 24 hours later the Leafs are being linked to one of the best remaining available free agents and one of Tavares’ former teammates, defenseman Calvin de Haan.
According to The Fourth Period’s David Pagnotta, the Leafs are considered to be one of the teams “in the mix” to land de Haan, along with the aforementioned Islanders.
Check it out:
The Toronto Maple Leafs have recently expressed serious interest in D Calvin de Haan. The Islanders also still very interested. A few more teams remain in the mix. Offers in the table, and he’s turned down one long-term offer from a team. Talks very much ongoing.
Pagnotta goes on to mention the Montreal Canadiens, Los Angeles Kings and New Jersey Devils as potential suitors, as well.
Interesting. The 27 year old de Haan is a defensive specialist who put up a goal and 12 points in 33 games for the Islanders last season. His career high of five goals and 25 points in 82 games during the 2016-17 season though indicates that he’s capable of providing a bit of offence. There’s no denying that the Leafs could use another capable defender in their top six, especially with shot blocking specialist Roman Polak moving on to sign a deal in free agency with the Dallas Stars.
Currently the Leafs’ top four consists of Morgan Rielly and Ron Hainsey on the top pairing, with Jake Gardiner and Nikita Zaitsev on the second pairing. Adding de Haan to that mix could potentially bump Hainsey or Zaitsev down to the third pairing with rookie Travis Dermott. Of course, there’s just the matter of money…
With the Leafs handing Tavares a contract worth $11 million annually and with restricted free agent William Nylander due a new deal, money is about to get tight in Toronto. Can the Leafs afford to pay de Haan the $3 million or $4 million salary he could command?