The John Tavares Effect


The dog days of summer- clearly in the thick of it wouldn’t you agree?

First, an apology. Apathy and life have gotten in between me and the keyboard. On the personal side, I have traveling a ton and as a result, something has to give. With a lul (give me a second) in the games that I truly care about I too am enjoying a bit of an offseason. Now, don’t go jumping up and down what about baseball. I’ve written here and on Twitter that for reasons I really can’t explain I am not into baseball right now. Even living in Seattle where the Mariners are on fire, I can’t get into it.

Is it possible that the great sports overload has now affected me?

The NHL season is so long, the NBA season equally as draining and well the NFL season equally as big a time suck that come summer I am, done. Fatigued.

In any event, lots has gone on, enough to at least kick around for some discussion. Sorry been absent. Mike and I will have to talk turkey about what we do heading into next summer to properly set expectations.

The Tavares effect:

Can we be honest with each other for a quick second here? John Tavares signing in Toronto is a game changer, even here on this site. Baring a major meltdown, or dare I utter the “I” word, the Maple Leafs are going to dominate the NHL headlines and of course, the Toronto sports headlines from the second training camp opens until seasons end. For those in the GTA who are not Maple Leaf fans, I’d suggest hibernating. At 46 years old I have lived through the leanest of years and seen first hand how 6 billion reporters still show up to the meaningless practice for only injured players in February. Can you imagine what the coverage will be this year?

Honestly, when was the last time a sports team in Toronto and a single transaction has been so universally celebrated by the Toronto sports media? I would have to think back to the Blue Jays days in the world series era. Maybe when Cliff Fletcher hired Pat Burns?

If there was a local member of the MSM who didn’t like this move I didnt’ see or hear him/her.

Now, out of town, lots of members of the media were taking shots at JT. Most notably to me, Forbes of all places:

Tavares didn’t do anything wrong, but he didn’t do anything right either. But that’s more than could be said for the Islanders most of the last nine years. And that’s business, right? There are no easy answers, no obvious good guys or bad guys, just a bunch of bruised feelings.


I am biased, but how exactly is JT to blame here? We Toronto fans have been on the other end of the equation. Players earn their right to free agency, teams gamble all the time in letting the clock expire. JT earned his right and decided to make a change. Not sure what he could have done differently and still get the desired result and not earn the scorn here.

On an aside, don’t you just love this gem?:

“I was extremely disappointed with the window of interviews, that was not the intention of how the league and union intended it,” Lamoriello said. “I was very disappointed with the way the process was. I’ve never seen it like this one.”

That from Newsday.. Editors note- I am in the UK right now and their website is blocked in this region. If someone wants to post more- or Mike wants to edit in I am good with that…

In any event, it is going to be a Maple Leafs world all season. Buckle up. If you thought there was too much coverage before..

BTW couple of nuggets:

This story by Chris Johnston was the best I read on JT.

I thought this piece by Damien Cox was worth the read too.

This one by Kevin Mcgran was good too.

And this one by Bruce Arthur as well.

Even this one too.

Question: With the Tavares news, do you think or want any changes to the stations that cover the Leafs heading into this season? Should we finally see new faces or voices on radio and tv in the booth? If so, what are they and why.

Question: As we are about to head into the fall season (yes I know it’s only mid-July), are there changes you’d like to see at either of the local all-sports radio stations?

Both stations have been on autopilot for some time with regards to lineups the current opening alongside Landsburg remains the only obvious vacancy. With Toronto becoming Leaf town again, or even more so, should the stations look to juggle accordingly?

Raptors fans, what say you? Is the biggest offseason move the team made, the Lebron heading west move? Really? Are you okay with this? Does the Casey firing sting more knowing Lebron is gone? Does promoting the assistant to Casey make more or less sense? Staying on the media focus, I think as a core the Raptors fans are best served of any of the Toronto team in terms of media coverage especially radio and tv. Does Raptors nation agree? Do you want to see or hear changes as we head into another season?

Want a good summer read? This gem by the Athletic’s Eric Koreen on Chris Cuthbert is as good as I’ve read in awhile.

How awesome was it of the Maple Leafs to call the presser at 3 or 4 pm on a Holiday? Media must have loved that one.

Given injuries and all, if the Jays don’t make significant moves at the deadline, will that affect your interest in walking up and buying tickets?

The number one I complaint I hear from folks with regards to the Blue Jays PxP this season, no consistency. Fans bitch to me anyways that they don’t know who is covering when. Don’t shoot the messenger, I am simply telling you I get it a lot.

Question: Given what you have seen and heard this season, who do you want calling Jays games next season radio and TV?

Back to Tavares again. I am told the Tavares signing was good, VERY good for the folks over at the Athletic. Did you buy a subscription after the signing? If so you are not alone! How good is it going there? They are hiring!

It appears Marcus Stroman is in the media/fan cross hairs again this am.Arash Madani, working on a feature asekd Stroman last night after a loss:

“Just wondering for you, stepping on the field at Nat Bailey Stadium for the first time, what did that mean to you and your career?”

Stroman didn’t take kindly to that question responding:

“We just lost to the Boston Red Sox. I don’t think that’s relevant at all right now.”

That wasn’t it as Stroman went on a tirade and in front of many yelled ““We’re fucking terrible,”

I am not sure what number this is in run ins Stroman has but it’s more than one. Its too bad he’s becoming a bit of a lightning rod given how much talent he has. I personally don’t have a problem with the question he was asked, maybe the timing was off, perhaps more context was needed but whatever. On the flip side I like my guys to have emotion and character when giving interviews, he just needs to be a little smarter.


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