Photo: Dan Hamilton - USA TODAY Sports

Tavares signs with the Maple Leafs

John Tavares signs a seven-year, $77 million deal to play for his hometown team

July 01, 2018 - 2:03 pm

Mike Jafari reporting

The Toronto Maple Leafs have won the John Tavares sweepstakes, signing the 27-year-old the free agent center to a seven-year, $77 million contract.

Tavares had until midnight on Saturday to sign an eight-year extension with the New York Islanders, but the Mississauga native chose to move closer to home.

Darren Dreger tweeted earlier in the day that Tavares turned down offers from the Islanders and the San Jose Sharks to take Toronto’s offer and form a dangerous 1-2 punch with fellow first-overall draft pick, Auston Matthews.

Tavares was the first overall pick of the Islanders in 2009, and has netted 272 goals and 621 points in 669 carerer games. Last season, Tavares scored 37 goals and 84 points in 82 games.

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