The Toronto Maple Leafs, as we all know, were massive spenders on July 1st, signing superstar forward John Tavares to a contract that would make him the second-highest paid player in the National Hockey League at this point in time, at a seven-year cap hit of $11,000,000.

Tavares is a massive addition to the Leafs that officially puts them into the Stanley Cup contention window, even for their biggest sceptics. But he also takes up about 14% of the league’s current salary cap allotment of about $79.5 million. It’s a lot of money, especially when many in the media have already opined that the team has a cap crisis looming. With that in mind, there is concern that Toronto might be pushing themselves into a hole so large that it costs them one of their “big three” young forwards (Auston Matthews, William Nylander, or Mitch Marner) in the not-too-distant future.

For what it’s worth, I’m not sold that it will come even close to it. Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas gave a firm “We can, and we will” when asked if he’ll be able to keep the trio on Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek’s ’31 Thoughts’ podcast earlier this week, and I don’t believe him to be bluffing.

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