The Toronto Maple Leafs are slowly but surely carving their way to the top of the NHL. Yes, you read that right. Already, even before signing John Tavares to a seven year deal, they were on the right track to becoming a franchise that takes the league by storm.

With a youth movement by Mitch Marner, Auston Matthews, William Nylander, and Kasperi Kapanen, soon to be lead by veteran John Tavares and Patrick Marleau, things are looking almost too good to be true. Toronto, within days, have already begun the next step in becoming the franchise Canada needs.

Experience and Heart Meet at The Perfect Time

The Leafs have been a rising team for the past few years. Yes, they’ve been eliminated in the first round the past two years, but it doesn’t take away what they’ve learned. In both of those series, they proved themselves to not be taken lightly, and if a few bounces went their way, they could’ve gone far.

However, with those two seasons being a learning lesson with this young group, they’ve gained enough experience to grow off of and make a serious statement come this October. However, on free agency frenzy, they added a whole new element to lift them even higher than they wanted.

That element was a whole lot of heart from John Tavares.

Yes, Tavares is a great addition to this team. In his prime, he’s going to add a tremendous amount of talent and lift the group to newer heights. But, there’s another element to his game that’ll bring a new character to the team, and that’s the love of playing in his hometown.

Countless tweets from teammates and fans welcomed Tavares to his home, and I mean his actual home of Toronto. Even Tavares himself tweeted an emotional picture and message saying how happy he was to make his childhood dream come true of playing in his hometown.

This is the perfect situation for the city of Toronto and it’s hockey culture. If they didn’t have something to rally behind before, they do now. That rally is behind the future hometown hero and his young teammates who are there with him for the ride.

The Leafs have a winning tradition coming. Tavares may not be the final piece to their puzzle, but he’s a crucial one that will bring a new sense of what Toronto truly means to the hockey world.

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