John Tavares joins hometown Maple Leafs on 7-year deal

Star forward John Tavares celebrated Canada Day by announcing he’s coming home to realize a boyhood dream of playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The crown jewel of this summer’s free-agent class, the Mississauga, Ont., native has agreed to a seven-year contract worth $77 million US.

Tavares’ arrival marks the first big player move for 31-year-old Kyle Dubas in his six-week tenure as the 17th general manager in Maple Leafs history.

The 27-year-old TavaresĀ is the biggest name to reach unrestricted free agency since the NHL brought in a salary cap following the 2004-05 lockout.

He scored 37 goals and 84 points in the final season of a six-year, $33-million deal signed in 2011.