Everybody now knows the Toronto Maple Leafs want John Tavares. He says he will go wherever he is drafted. Could that be a big mistake?
He was recently ranked third, not first, by a scouting agency. The New York Islanders have not made it clear they want him over Victor Hedman.
Here are the top 10 reasons Tavares should reconsider the Lindros option and hold out to become a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs:
1. Leafs GM Brian Burke declared he would move heaven and earth to try to get him in a Toronto Maple Leafs uniform.
2. New York Islanders GM Garth Snow has not only declined to say which way the Islanders are leaning, but he also told reporters last week that he would review all the top-ranked players before settling on the one he would draft, according to the New York Times.
3. Tavares has been a hockey hero in the Toronto area ever since he scored 72 goals at the age of 16 for his former team in Oshawa, just east of Toronto. He also played for the London Knights, just north-west of Toronto. He already has a huge fanbase in the region and could build on it.
4. He's from Oakville, just west of Toronto, and there's nothing like family support, especially in your rookie year. He could live at home!
5. Tavares is now ranked third, behind Hedman and also Brampton Battalion centre Matt Duchene and then Tavares. If Toronto takes Duchene, from nearby Haliburton, he will get the tons of attention instead of Tavares.
6. The Islanders finished last, this year. The franchise last enjoyed success in the 1980s. Critics of the Isles have called the organization "inept."
7. Some sportswriters have advised Tavares to pull a Lindros, and avoid Isles, Bolts, Thrashers. Steve Simmons, writing in the Ottawa Sun, said he would be a fool to sign with the Isles.
8. Tavares was always a Leafs fan, growing up. He could make his childhood dreams come true and play for his favourite team.
9. Nationalism doesn't mean much to NHL players but his city, Toronto, needs him.
10. One word: Endorsements.