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Rumor mill: John Tavares for veteran role with Utah?
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After another playoff fiasco, the Toronto Maple Leafs need to make some changes to their core team. Hiring head coach Craig Berube is a good start to the off-season, but the job isn’t complete.

While Mitch Marner remains the top candidate to change addresses this summer among the Leafs’ core, John Tavares’ name is also circulating among some trade rumors.

Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek said on his show, The Jeff Marek Show, on Monday that he thinks Utah could be an ideal destination for the Maple Leafs captain.

He explained that Utah would be an ideal destination for John Tavares because the team has enough room under the cap to offer him an excellent salary with a two-year extension, considering his age (33).

In 2024-25, Tavares will complete the final year of his contract with Toronto, which weighs $11 million on the payroll. With 65 points in 80 games this season, his next contract is likely to be much lower, but Utah could offer him more than expected because of all the space under their salary cap.

As of today, Utah has a grand total of $43,564,524 in cap space, and that’s not counting Shea Weber’s $7,857,143 contract, which will still go on the long-term injured list.

And let’s not forget that Utah still doesn’t have a single defenseman on a one-way contract for next season. We’ll have to pay everyone if we want to have a team on the ice in October.

Utah also has only three players aged 29 or over under contract for next season. Adding an experienced player like Tavares could help the team’s younger players develop better.

It remains to be seen whether the Maple Leafs’ captain will be willing to waive his no-trade clause and send him elsewhere this summer.

Elias Lindholm says no to Vancouver

Also on the Jeff Marek Show, this time it was Elliotte Friedman who revealed that negotiations are not going well between the Canucks and Elias Lindholm. Acquired just before the trade deadline this season, the Canucks used Lindholm as a rental player, but were also hoping to be able to offer him a contract extension to keep him for the long term.

Lindholm reportedly turned down the Canucks’ offer of seven years at $7 million per season.

So, expect Lindholm to become an uncompensated free agent this summer. He’ll be one of the biggest names to watch.

What’s crazy about all this is that Lindholm had already turned down an eight-year offer at $9 million per season from the Calgary Flames. It’s hard to know whether Lindholm thinks he’s worth more than $9 million, or whether he just doesn’t want to play in Canada anymore.

In gusto

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– A little news from Montreal.

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