BEST OF 2018: Leafs Nation Can Thank Nazem Kadri When John Tavares Signs

Shug McSween Dec 31, 2018

Tick tock, Johnny.

As we continue to work the phones and piece together the puzzle, another aspect nobody is talking about when it comes to the #TavaresWatch is the love and respect that John Tavares has for Nazem Kadri.

Tavares was dealt to London in the ’09 OHL season and JT and Naz were unstoppable together. JT put up 32 goals in 24 games and Naz led the team in scoring and 9 years later this relationship is about to complete the full circle.

ICYMI –  three years ago Tavares called Kadri one of the most skilled guys he’s ever played with and loves how he can raise his game to the next level when the pressure is on the most.

The best part in all of this…..Kadri is a huge reason the Leafs can even entertain the fact of signing Johnny T. Kyle Dubas is going to have his hands full with the cap situation, but two things are to his benefit. The guy who created the cap works in his office, and Kadri took a hometown discount with his extension. Kadri is on one of the best value contracts in the league, factually within the top-5. Naz left money on the table when it was his turn to sign and he continues to evolve into one of the best two-way centres in the game.

Pushing Kadri down the lineup makes the Leafs scary good.

Some people have chirped about how Kadri would hate being the third line centre….That’s a big Drew Doughty. Kadri loves being matched up against the other teams best players, he plays better when he is challenged and he knows he’ll still see a ton of ice on the PP and now with Bozak all but gone, a ton on the PK as well.

Remember this game when Naz got challenged…..

This is what we know and you can decide for yourself what side of the fence you want to sit on:

  1. John Tavares was very impressed with Toronto’s presentation and discussion points
  2. Toronto was first to present for a reason, followed immediately by the Isles
  3. Wes Clark is a very close friend/advisor of JT’s and Clark is now the Leafs newest employee
  4. Kyle Dubas is basically a genius and loves to use his network when it comes to personnel decisions
  5. JT’s wife-to-be is from the GTA, family lives here, and she was recently hired by a Hospital in the area
  6. Mike Babcock and John Tavares think the game the same and have a wonderful relationship
  7. Tavares and Kadri played a few months in Junior together, lit it up, and became close buds
  8. Ex-teammates in Oshawa would say JT would keep to himself most of the time away from the rink, while when he got to London, Naz and JT hit it off and remain close

If John Tavares goes back to the New York Islanders, Lou is actually Jesus, pronounced ‘Hey-Zeuss’

However, with the Tetris that we played this week to pull all this information together, it certainly feels like Nazem Kadri is a huge X-Factor in JT’s decision and playing alongside the likes of Matthews, Marner and Nylander doesn’t hurt one bit either. The Islanders don’t have a capable goaltender, JT has no intention of waiting any longer for Lou to make it happen. Lou said no to the 11th pick for Phillip Grubauer, and moments later the goalie was dealt, which basically sewered Lou corner pocket. Then he went after Cam Ward, and Ward agreed to terms in Chicago.

Lou is stuck, he’s a hot mess, and he’s searching the market for a tendy with limited facial hair growing capabilities. The time is running out.

John Tavares loves the Toronto Maple Leafs, and in less than 2 days, he’s going to announce to the world that he has signed with the Maple Leafs.

JT also loves Nazem, remember:

Naz loves him too:

Shug McSween

Shug McSween is a veteran here at and has been contributing since day one. A sports nut with a sophisticated opinion, expect McSween to cover any and everything he's passionate about. When he's not busy writing and editing for our crew, McSween likes to get away via fairways and greens. He also contributes to The Hockey Writers, and

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