After waiting all off-season for a decision to be made, the Toronto Maple Leafs have John Tavares the 25th captain in franchise history.
We wondered when the announcement would be made and you got the feeling that the closer we got to puck drop, it made more sense to do it as part of the opening ceremonies. At least there was some mystery as to when Tavares would be unveiled and obviously doing it last was logical.
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When it comes to naming Tavares, it appeared as if the decision was made a while ago with the team putting out a video surprising the 29-year-old with his wife and son there to greet him with the news.
For years we have heard how the captaincy in hockey wasn’t a big deal considering how teams like the Leafs preferred to go without one. What we now learned is that it had more to do with having the right player to assume the role.
Many had this decision as a tossup between Tavares and Auston Matthews and it seemed like the moment Matthews’ situation came to light, it as clear that Tavares was the logical choice.
You get the feeling the Leafs organization likes the way Tavares conducts himself both on and off the ice. He goes about his business with class and it doesn’t hurt that he has previous experience wearing the ‘C’ with the New York Islanders.
Whether it was him or Matthews, you know Tavares would not change his role and it had no barring on his decision to sign here long term. Knowing your captain is going to be here for the long haul and is ready to face the responsibility should be comforting to Leafs fans.
Now that this final question has been answered, Tavares will have the challenge of being the face of this core group that has the expectations of winning the Stanley Cup. If they are able to pull it off, it will be his honour to be handed the trophy from Gary Bettman and you know that will be something he’s dreamed while sleeping in those Leafs bedsheets.
What are your thoughts on the Leafs naming Tavares the captain? Can he be the one to lead him to the Stanley Cup? Let us know in the comments below.