By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
John Tavares is going to get seriously paid, no matter where he signs as a free agent. But the tax implications make a big difference, too. And if he's factoring that in, it could give the Bruins a better chance of landing him than you may think.
TSN unveiled a new "Tavares Calculator" on Wednesday, allowing visitors to enter an average annual value for Tavares' next contract and determine how much he'd give up in taxes over the course of his deal. Despite Massachusetts' reputation for taking exorbitant amounts out of people's pockets as "Taxachusetts", the calculator finds that the Bruins would actually charge the third-lowest tax of all of Tavares' six possible suitors.
After entering a $12 million cap hit over seven years into the calculator, you'll see that the Bruins would net Tavares the third-most after taxes. They'd even pay more than the New York Islanders ($47,529,600), even thought they'd be able to give Tavares an eighth year on the contract.
Here's how the taxes break down based on $12 million against the cap:
Maple Leafs: $39,345,600
It's unclear how much of a consideration the taxes would be for Tavares. It's curious (but perhaps a complete coincidence) that he has the Stars and Lightning on his list in the first place, and met with them last. Dallas is probably the furthest from Stanley Cup contention (besides the Islanders) of all the teams. Tampa is a top contender as currently constituted, but would have to significantly overhaul its roster just to make room for Tavares under the cap.
The hope for the B's is that they can sell Tavares on the idea of contending both now and well into the future. They could argue that they're the only team that could be a legitimate Cup contender for the entirety of his seven years, in addition to paying him the third-most money after taxes.
Despite all that, Sportsnet's Chris Johnston described the Bruins, Lighting, and Stars as "fallback options" compared to the more favored Islanders, Leafs, and Sharks in an interview on Sportsnet 650 in Vancouver. So if Tavares is putting the Sharks closer to the top of his list, perhaps the taxes don't matter so much to him at all.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].