Toronto Maple Leafs: Captaincy decision removes unnecessary distraction

General manager Kyle Dubas of the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
General manager Kyle Dubas of the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

One of the biggest talking points this off-season has been who will be the next captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and now we have some clarity on the situation.

Outside of contract negotiations with William Nylander, the discussion between John Tavares and Auston Matthews being the potential captain has been the biggest storyline for the Toronto Maple Leafs this offseason.

Now, general manager Kyle Dubas has given some clarity on this decision that should help calm debate and remove an unnecessary distraction away from the team.

Speaking to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, Dubas has stated the Leafs will enter the 2018-19 season without a named captain.

"“Not from the outset… I want to get into a day-to-day with these people and see who’s best suited to handle that, if we do determine that we need somebody to handle that, if we feel we have a void in leadership because we don’t have a formal captain, then I think it’s something we can address.” – Dubas, speaking to McKenzie"

This now leaves the possibility of the team running with three or four alternate captains, something that has been in place since Dion Phaneuf was traded to the Ottawa Senators back in Feb. 2016.

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This is a decision that should work to the Maple Leafs’ advantage, with the decision of naming a formal captain potentially being an unwanted distraction.

Having your star players focused purely on their on-ice performances will help the team get the best possible outcomes in games.

Having off-ice issues hanging over the team could create frustrations that can hamper their performance and cohesion.

The Leafs have been through plenty of off-ice issues over the past decade or so, but are now finally in a position where that is no longer a concern and their production on the ice has never been higher.

Matthews and Tavares are slam-dunks for being named alternate captains now that a formal captain will not be named, with Morgan Rielly and Patrick Marleau also likely to wear the ‘A’ once again.

This particular topic has been discussed on Tip of the Tower before and Dubas’ decision to not name a formal captain to start the season is a smart one for the GM, who has had a pretty stellar start in his new role.

Toronto can always name a formal captain at a later date, even during the upcoming season, but getting the team playing the right way throughout the season is a far more important than who will wear the ‘C’ next.

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What do you think Leafs fans? Are you happy to see this topic put to bed for the foreseeable future? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.