Is there a chance that John Tavares is not in a Maple Leafs jersey at the start of the 2020-21 NHL season? (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire)
- Odds have been released on where John Tavares will play the 2020-21 NHL season
- The Toronto Maple Leafs are listed as massive -4000 favorites
- Is there value betting on Tavares to play elsewhere next season? See odds and analysis below
Oddsmakers have released odds on which NHL team Maple Leafs’ captain John Tavares will open the season with. The Toronto centreman has been facing criticism from some media members who believe he has underperformed for the seven-year, $77 million contract he signed with the team back in 2018.
Is it realistic that the Leafs could trade Tavares before the 2020-21 season? Oddsmakers certainly don’t think so. They’ve given bettors -4000 odds that Tavares will open the new season in a Maple Leafs uniform.
The San Jose Sharks and Calgary Flames are among the teams you can bet on Tavares being traded to this offseason. See the odds and betting analysis below.
Odds Where John Tavares Will Play in 2020-21
|Toronto Maple Leafs||-4000|
|San Jose Sharks||+1200|
|Any Other Team||+1500|
Odds taken Oct. 14.
Has John Tavares Truly Underperformed?
Tavares is facing some heat after underwhelming in his second year with the Maple Leafs. After impressing with 47 goals and 88 points in year one, Tavares took a step back last season with 26 goals and 60 points in 63 games prior to the pandemic.
He was a superstar in Long Island before signing in Toronto, but the stats will show you he’s been even more productive since becoming a Leaf.
John Tavares By The Numbers
Tavares, of course, is playing with better linemates in Toronto than he did in New York, but it’s hard to complain about a guy who has produced at over a point-per-game rate ever since arriving in Toronto. The fact he was awarded the captaincy just one year into his Toronto tenure tells you coaching and management have full confidence in his ability to lead this team.
Most of the criticism for Tavares surrounds his massive contract that will pay him $11 million yearly for the next five seasons. At that type of money, he needs to be a superstar. He showed it in year one, but he wasn’t able to get back to that level in year two. One down year (by his standards) isn’t going to make management move on from their leader and second-line center.
2021 NHL Eastern and Western Conference Title Odds Tracker
Tavares is Hometown Boy
Aside from already being the captain of the team, the fact Tavares is from Mississauga, Ontario points heavily to him staying put next season. He took a discount to sign with his hometown team and was ecstatic about his decision, saying it was his ‘childhood dream’ to live in Toronto.
Not everyday you can live a childhood dream pic.twitter.com/YUTKdfMALl
— John Tavares (@91Tavares) July 1, 2018
Tavares and his wife had their first baby in September 2019 and are just settling into their new life. Given the great relationship between Tavares and GM Kyle Dubas, they’d only start to look at their options if things started going really south.
This also doesn’t even take into consideration the fact Tavares has an NMC for every year of his deal. The five teams listed with specific odds in this prop all have worse 2021 Stanley Cup odds than Toronto. Tavares isn’t going to waive his NMC to leave his hometown team, but if he ever were, he’d likely want to go to another contender.
Verdict on Tavares’ 2020-2021 Landing Spot
There have been some surprising trades in the early goings of the offseason, but Tavares is one guy you can expect to stay put. The Leafs boast a lethal 1-2 punch of Auston Matthews and Tavares at center and are going to count on the latter bouncing back in 2020-21.
TSN’s Craig Button recently called the Tavares signing by Toronto “unnecessary”. It’s certainly going to make it hard for the team to build around their highly paid young superstars, but this is the route Toronto chose to go and they won’t be jumping ship just because Tavares’ numbers took a dip in 2019-20.
There’s not much value betting Tavares to play in Toronto next season, so this is one prop I’m staying away from. While there may be some media members already getting on Tavares, many of the fans believe in their captain and expect a big year from him in 2020-21.
Brady is a passionate hockey fan and sports writer with over five years experience specializing in digital media, plus a degree in Broadcast Journalism. His work has been published by outlets such as ESPN, CBS Sports, Yahoo! Sports and Fox Sports.