The John Tavares Effect

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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    Gary M 1 month ago

    Let’s be honest: Stroman just has to win. If you win, all the ranting and raving becomes an attribute. “Fiery and entertaining.” If you lose, it’s intolerable.

    Far as the Jays broadcasts, I don’t like how Dan Shulman is deployed on TV. Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies. Has always felt to me like they’re trying to say “Dan does the marquee games”. Which makes the Buck/Tabler games feel like they have been designated second-rate. It’s not a good way to sell the season. They’d be better off if Dan did every 3rd weekend or something else based on time intervals.

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    Ken Caldwell 1 month ago

    Good Show = Bad Show = waste of air time!

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    I’m surprised that there is no one on the Blue Jays that can or are willing to pull strowman aside and either explain to him how he needs to act with the media or at the very worst give him a smack to the head over it. That said, Arash has been around the team enough to know when is a good time to ask that sort of question (even with Strowman’s limited availability) and when it isn’t. I’ll also add that the rest of the media need to get off this bandwagon just because they feel wronged by the mean baseball player. Even with Strowman’s history it does seem like everyone and their uncle is picking this as a time to pile on Marcus over his he’s handled the media in the past and currently.
    In the end I feel that Strowman needs to grow up and get someone to give his some tips on how to deal with the media while at the same time the media needs to calm down and stop acting like a bunch of whiney children.

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    Don’t se how “that sort of question” was inappropriate. It (his time in Vancouver playing for their Class A team) conveyed no negative suggestions or innuendo.

    Stroman needs to grow up. He is not a first year kid and should know better at this stage of his life (27) and career (6 years since being signed & 4 years in the Majors).

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    James 1 month ago

    The reporter picked a stupid time to ask his question. They’ve just lost another game Stroman started and he’s asked about his fond memories of a place he played 5yrs ago? Who wouldn’t think it was an ill timed irrelevant question. And yes these supposed “knowledgeable” reporters/media people should be called out when they’re bad at their job like anyone else, especially seeing most of them make their career doing it to others these days.

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    Original Mitch 4 weeks ago

    There are definitely more than one culprit in the stroman tantrum. 
    1) Stro for being a baby. Question sucks but you’ve made yourself only available after starts. Therefore you can expect to be asked about your performance or whether you wear boxers or briefs by someone from mtv or wherever 

    2) Rogers for allowing Stroman to only be available after games. FFS you own the team, help your sports network (and others) out every once in a while instead of letting the inmates run the asylum. It’s also good marketing. Duh. 

    3) the reporter. Knowing full well the timing and the fact that he doesn’t make himself available at other times, he simply should have either waited until after a win or scrap Stroman from feature all together. Plenty of people pitched at Nat Bailey willing to talk.why even help promote a jerk player who refuses to help anyone else out not named Stroman ? Should have decided to scrap stro out. 

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    Recently unable to access this site – Was it something at my end or something at your end? Just want to know if any settings should be reconfigured –

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    MontfronLondonOnt – I was getting the same message and my proection software was saying the site was being redirected to a suspected phishing site. Dunno if there was a dns error or a hack but all seems well now.

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    Gary M 4 weeks ago

    Great analysis, Mitch. But a lot of people want Arash Madani’s job and I’m not sure how often a guy in his role is allowed to come back with “sorry, I didn’t get the clip” before producers turn to someone hungrier. I think that’s what drives these reporters, not that they’re stupid. In fact, the idea that Arash Madani is even in a position to decide to ‘scrap Stro out’ might be unrealistic.

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    The most significant thing I took away from the Tavares trade was JT admitting in the Players Tribune that he had a panic attack while pacing around the pool at his Mississauga home the day before he announced he was going to the Leafs. 

    This from someone who will likely be the Captain of the team or at the very least a prominent leader. The mental health awareness campaigns over the years have tremendously helped to turn a perceived weakness into a strength; it took a lot of courage to admit that and people/teammates will acknowledge and respect that. 

    The Tavares signing is akin to getting Sundin while keeping Clark. If that had happened, the Leafs would have won at least one Cup. When is the last time the Leafs truly had a star player that children could look up to? Matthews. Tavares. Marner: all actual stars. Freddie at times as well. I cannot honestly believe where the Leafs are now compared to the halcyon days of Peter Horachek. 

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    Why are my comments not getting posted?

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    for the last few months we have switched to full-time moderation which means every comment needs to be manually approved by Jonah or me. The reason for this was to stop posters trolling each other and to get rid of comments that were nothing more than personal attacks on media personalities. We think things are better as a result.

    One downside is that we sometimes miss a comment waiting to be approved.

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    Understood. Have to admit that I do miss some of the trolling spats, but not all of them.  Cheers.