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John Tavares Reveals The Biggest Challenge The Leafs Will Face Next Year

Published August 27, 2023 at 12:06
BY JAMES CONNELLY

Maple Leafs captain, John Tavares, has spoken about the challenges the Leafs will face next season with rival teams getting better.

Tavares Comments On The Opposition



In a recent interview, John Tavares commented on how the Atlantic Division got better this past offseason.

"Yeah, 100 percent (the competition will be more difficult). The steps that Detroit, Buffalo and Ottawa, the steps they are taking, you see the talent they are developing and the season some of their guys have had (last year) and the way their teams are growing and the challenges they present, they obviously feel they are ready to start contending and be playoff teams. There is no doubt it's only going to continue to get harder and harder, so we are aware of that challenge and know what's ahead." - John Tavares on the new challengers



However, Tavares also revealed that the Leafs are holding themselves to the same standard of being one of, if not the best, team in the Atlantic Division.

"We certainly respect what they bring to the table, but we have to be prepared and we expect a lot of ourselves and have high expectations to still be one of the top teams if not the top team in our division. That's always the goal when you start the year and I think with the caliber of players we have and the depth we have, we still want to be right there but we know the competition is only getting tougher." - John Tavares on the Leafs standard

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The Stiffer Compeititon



Tavares name dropped the Buffalo Sabres, the Detroit Red Wings, and the Ottawa Senators as teams that will be better next year. Let's take a look at them.

Buffalo

Buffalo has not had any big free agency splashes or any real massive trade but they are a young team on the rise. They are expecting another step from Rasmus Dahlin, Owen Power, Dylan Cozens, Jack Quinn, JJ Peterka, and more. They also currently have over $8 million in cap space and are heavily linked to UFA Patrick Kane who is a Buffalo native.

Detroit

The Red Wings made some big moves this offseason. First off, they traded for Alex DeBrincat which could bolster their goalscoring. They also went and traded for Jeff Petry. On top of all of this, they signed J.T. Compher, Shayne Gostisbehere, and former Leaf, Justin Holl. They are also expecting steps from young players like Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider.

Ottawa

Ottawa is a mix between the Sabres and the Red Wings. They are expecting major steps from young players like Tim Stutzle, Jake Sanderson, Brady Tkachuk, and Shane Pinto. However, they also went out and made some major moves by signing Vladimir Tarasenko to compensate for the loss of Alex DeBrincat and they signed their goalie in Joonas Korpisalo. On top of all of this, they are expecting their 2nd line center, Josh Norris, to return to playing next year.

While the Leafs will have some stiffer competition coming up next year, they will look to continue their success and finally make the run to the Stanley Cup that they are capable of.

As seen on Maple Leafs Insider - Leafs captain reveals how he feels about the current state of the Atlantic Division
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John Tavares Reveals The Biggest Challenge The Leafs Will Face Next Year

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Detroit19620.8 %
Ottawa40242.7 %
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