My Thoughts On John Tavares Being a Toronto Maple Leaf

My Thoughts On John Tavares Being  a Toronto Maple Leaf

A little over two weeks the New York Islanders lost their captain, while the Toronto Maple Leafs added even more depth at center. As a fan of the Maple Leafs I've decided to break down my thoughts on the trade.


John Tavares decided to leave behind a legacy he started nine years ago with the New York Islanders, to pursue a new journey with the team he cheered for as a kid. While I feel bad for the Islanders fans who have to suffer through this loss, I cannot help but love this homecoming for Tavares.

Before getting into all the positive aspects of signing Tavares, I do have some concerns about the signing. Tavares signed a seven-year deal worth 11 million dollars per season. While this is not a huge hit on cap space, the Leafs have multiple young stars who will be looking for lucrative long-term deals in the near future. Three players come to mind in this situation, William Nylander, Mitch Marner, and Auston Matthews, or as I like to call them, the holy trinity.

William Nylander is a restricted free agent right now, who still needs to be signed. Nylander is young and incredibly talented, which should put him in a position to get a pretty big payday. The Leafs losing him would be a huge blow for the future, because he will continue to just get better and even more productive. Last season he had 20 goals, 41 assists, and played in all 82 games. Although I have seen rumors about Nylander being traded, I hope that they wouldn't do that because not only would I be very sad, but it is not in the best interest of the Leafs moving forward.

Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews will both become restricted free agents for the 2019-2020 season. You would be brain dead to think that losing these two wouldn't be the worst thing to happen to this team. Both players, like Nylander, are young and talented. Auston Matthews is the face of the franchise and deserves a big payday. Matthews scored 34 goals and had 29 assists in only 62 games this past season. Any team would be lucky to have Matthews and if he doesn't get the pay he deserves I can see him taking his talents somewhere else. Mitch Marner on the other hand, might sign for less than he deserves to continue playing with his childhood team. Just like Nylander, Marner played in all 82 regular season games for the Leafs.

In those games, he racked up 22 goals and 47 assists. Marner leads the team in points, ending the regular season with 69 points, which is impressive considering he struggled offensively at the start of the season. Mitch brings an advanced hockey IQ and incredible playmaking skills to the Leafs. Mitch is an absolute catch and has offensive skills that any team would want to add to their roster, I think that Mitch would give the Leafs a hometown discount which could help them out immensely in being able to sign all three young stars.

I think Tavares not only signed with the Leafs because that was the team he grew up rooting for but because of the talented roster that has already been established. The Leafs have strong young guys who many would love to play alongside, which is why it is so important for Nylander, Matthews, and Marner to all stay with the Leafs.

All I know is that losing any of these three players would result in a huge loss of talent. But the Leafs have $13,679,167 left in cap space and I trust Kyle Dubas, general manager of the Leafs, to get all three players signed and grow the Leafs into a true Stanley Cup contender.

Now that all the negative thoughts I have regarding this signing are out in the air, I want to talk about why this signing might very well be the second best thing to happen to the Leafs (the first was drafting Auston Matthews first overall in 2016).

John Tavares is only 27 years old, which means he has just reached his prime. In the 2017-2018 season Tavares scored 37 goals, the most thus far in his career. He also had 47 assists and played in all 82 games. Tavares has 272 career goals and 349 career assists, which proves he will be an offensive powerhouse for the Leafs.

Head coach Mike Babcock plans on playing Tavares with Mitch Marner, which will be a high scoring second line. The offensive powers of both players will be maximized by playing together. analyzed Marner and Tavares playing together and said, "Marner played at a 92-point pace last season once he was promoted to the second line alongside Nazem Kadri. Tavares is a shoot-first pivot, so Marner's elite vision and playmaking skills will be a perfect match." Sounds like it might be a record season for both players.

This season is going to be unbelievably fun to watch as a Leafs fan. I am so excited to welcome Tavares to the Maple Leafs and I am so happy that he is a Leaf.

Go Leafs Go!

P.S. Kyle Dubas, do the right thing and make Morgan Rielly captain.

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The Coach That Killed My Passion

An open letter to the coach that made me hate a sport I once loved.

I fell in love with the game in second grade. I lived for every practice and every game. I lived for the countless hours in the gym or my driveway perfecting every shot, every pass and every move I could think of. Every night after dinner, I would go shoot and would not allow myself to go inside until I hit a hundred shots. I had a desire to play, to get better and to be the best basketball player I could possibly be.

I had many coaches between church leagues, rec leagues, personal coaches, basketball camps, middle school and high school. Most of the coaches I had the opportunity to play for had a passion for the game like I did. They inspired me to never stop working. They would tell me I had a natural ability. I took pride in knowing that I worked hard and I took pride in the compliments that I got from my coaches and other parents. I always looked forward to the drills and, believe it or not, I even looked forward to the running. These coaches had a desire to teach, and I had a desire to learn through every good and bad thing that happened during many seasons. Thank you to the coaches that coached and supported me through the years.

SEE ALSO: My Regrets From My Time As A College Softball Player

Along with the good coaches, are a few bad coaches. These are the coaches that focused on favorites instead of the good of the entire team. I had coaches that no matter how hard I worked, it would never be good enough for them. I had coaches that would take insults too far on the court and in the classroom.

I had coaches that killed my passion and love for the game of basketball.

When a passion dies, it is quite possibly the most heartbreaking thing ever. A desire you once had to play every second of the day is gone; it turns into dreading every practice and game. It turns into leaving every game with earphones in so other parents don't talk to you about it. It meant dreading school the next day due to everyone talking about the previous game. My passion was destroyed when a coach looked at me in the eyes and said, "You could go to any other school and start varsity, but you just can't play for me."

SEE ALSO: Should College Athletes Be Limited To One Sport?

Looking back now at the amount of tears shed after practices and games, I just want to say to this coach: Making me feel bad about myself doesn't make me want to play and work hard for you, whether in the classroom or on the court. Telling me that, "Hard work always pays off" and not keeping that word doesn't make me want to work hard either. I spent every minute of the day focusing on making sure you didn't see the pain that I felt, and all of my energy was put towards that fake smile when I said I was OK with how you treated me. There are not words for the feeling I got when parents of teammates asked why I didn't play more or why I got pulled after one mistake; I simply didn't have an answer. The way you made me feel about myself and my ability to play ball made me hate myself; not only did you make me doubt my ability to play, you turned my teammates against me to where they didn't trust my abilities. I would not wish the pain you caused me on my greatest enemy. I pray that one day, eventually, when all of your players quit coming back that you realize that it isn't all about winning records. It’s about the players. You can have winning records without a good coach if you have a good team, but you won’t have a team if you can't treat players with the respect they deserve.

SEE ALSO: To The Little Girl Picking Up A Basketball For The First Time

Cover Image Credit: Equality Charter School

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Towson Swimming And Diving's Relationship With The Special Olympics Is So Important

Supporting such a great foundation has been an incredible experience.


It is evident that people with an intellectual disability face a difficult, uphill battle to achieve acceptance and other benefits of society that most people take for granted. The Special Olympics is such an important tool for these people, which I have recently had the privilege to learn first hand.

Each year, the Towson swim and dive team helps coach and work personally with a Special Olympics program. We set aside a Saturday morning after practice each month to work with local Special Olympians in the pool. This consists of providing them with practice and helping them complete it to the best of their ability.

Through doing this, I have met so many lovely, genuine people.

Our team coming together to support such an important foundation is truly the best feeling. It is incredibly moving to not only meet the athletes, but actually get to know them. We spend so much time talking and working with these Special Olympic athletes on how to get better, and it makes the meet hosted for them at the end of their season even more heartwarming for us to witness.

This past weekend, our team hosted and competed against Drexel University's swim and dive team. We had a break during the meet to bring in all of our Special Olympians to each race in one event of their choice. From the moment all of them walked onto the pool deck, the joy they brought was naturally contagious. There is just something so sincere about each of these Special Olympians' smiles that when all of them were together sharing the spotlight, the place was radiating positivity. It made me realize that everyone was there to simply celebrate the ability of these people, instead of focus on disability.

The opportunity to help Special Olympians become better at the sport I love made me realize so much. After high school, most Special Olympic athletes do not get the opportunity to compete anymore on teams or individually as I do, which is why unified sports events are so crucial. Teaching these Special Olympic athletes how to compete and seeing how excited they could be reminded me to enjoy the competition I am so lucky to be surrounded with.

The image of our home pool exploding with joy and energy for these Special Olympians who were so proud to be competing in a race is forever engrained in my mind.

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