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Tavares -- who signed a seven-year contract with the Maple Leafs on Sunday -- will earn $11 million annually over the life of the deal.

Somehow, the news of Tavares signing with the Buds didn't get leaked before the free-agency market officially opened Sunday at noon ET. This is perhaps the best player ever to hit the open market in the salary cap era, after all. There were six teams aggressively bidding to acquire Tavares, who has maintained a 0.928 points-per-game pace over nine seasons. While the Islanders were included in that mix and attempted to re-sign him, the club's new GM, Lou Lamoriello, ultimately was unable to pull the right strings despite the fact that his team was said to have been equipped not only with the most money between the potential suitors, but also the exclusive right to offer him a max-term contract (eight years) in free agency. This will be a homecoming for Tavares in Toronto.

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