The John Tavares sweepstakes are over.
The star center took to Twitter on Sunday to announce he’d signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The decision marks the end of a fascinating free agency saga, one which the 27-year-old Ontario native took very, very seriously.
The deal will pay Tavares $11 million annually for seven years.
Tavares shared multiple statements on Twitter — one addressed to Islanders fans, and one addressed to the franchise as a whole.
Read them both below:
In the end, Tavares reportedly decided between the New York Islanders, the San Jose Sharks and, of course, the Leafs. The Boston Bruins, the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Dallas stars also were among teams that made pitches to the three-time All-Star.
In Tavares, the Leafs are getting not just one of the NHL’s most productive stars, but also one of its most durable.
Tavares has racked up 272 goals and 349 assists through nine NHL seasons, all with the Islanders. Last season might have been his best, as he scored 37 goals and dished out 47 assists while playing in all 82 games.
Outside of the strike-shortened 2012-13 campaign, Tavares has played fewer than 77 games in just one season.
Thumbnail photo via Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports Images
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