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Sports Maple Leafs set to begin life without John Tavares against Bruins

18:46  18 october  2019
18:46  18 october  2019 Source:   msn.com

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John Tavares , an Islander his entire nine-year career and the team captain the past five seasons, has decided to go home. He signed a seven-year, million contract on Sunday with the Toronto Maple Leafs that will bolster that club but leave the Islanders without the longtime face of their franchise.

John Tavares was not known for showing emotion during his nine seasons with the Islanders. I’m thrilled to be starting a new chapter of my career and life in Toronto with the @ MapleLeafs . Tavares , who met with the Maple Leafs , Islanders, Sharks, Bruins , Lightning and Stars between Monday and

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TORONTO — Alexander Kerfoot was the man in the middle at Maple Leafs' practice on Friday.

The centre took up the spot normally occupied by Toronto captain John Tavares, who is out at least two weeks with a broken finger, on a line with Mitch Marner and Ilya Mikheyev.

Kerfoot had a brief chat with head coach Mike Babcock before the on-ice session began at the team's practice facility.

Toronto's top line of Auston Matthews, William Nylander and Andreas Johnsson remained the same, while veteran centre Jason Spezza — a healthy scratch for three of the team's eight games — was between Kasperi Kapanen and Trevor Moore.

The fourth line of Nick Shore, Frederik Gauthier and Dmytro Timashov was unchanged.

Tavares suffered the injury late in Wednesday's 4-3 loss to the Capitals in Washington after getting struck in the right hand by a shot off the stick of Leafs defenceman Morgan Rielly.

Toronto hosts the Boston Bruins on Saturday night.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 17, 2019.

Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press

Tavares returns to practice but status for Saturday unclear .
Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares returned to practice on Wednesday for the first time since suffering a broken finger on Oct. 16 against the Washington Capitals. The 29-year-old skated on a line flanked by Mitch Marner and Trevor Moore, but head coach Mike Babcock says it's unclear when Tavares will return to game action. “I can’t tell you when he’s playing. I just know we’re doing everything, and he’s doing everything, to be ready when he gets his opportunity," Babcock said following Wednesday's practice, according to The Athletic's Jonas Siegel. "The doctors will check that out and decide when he’s available.

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