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The 1-2 center punch of John Tavares and Auston Matthews are already causing headaches for opposing teams, but which one is more worthy of captaincy.
By Chris Yackel
The Toronto Maple Leafs have two superstars playing both first and second line centers. It’s something that is already causing problems for teams in the National Hockey League. Newly acquired John Tavares has 4 goals thus far this season including a hat trick on Sunday night against the Chicago Blackhawks. Auston Maththews has 5 goals and 3 assists in this young campaign and was named NHL’s First Star of the Week. Although the season is just 3 games old It’s been everything Toronto has envisioned since signing John Tavares this offseason. There however is a question surrounding these two star players. Which one will be the captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs?
It is a question that both players might publicly say they care less about, but it is a conversation worth having. The Maple Leafs have not had a captain since Dion Phaneuf was traded to the Ottawa Senators in February of 2016. That is an awfully long time without a captain, but the Leafs seem to be in no rush. They want to make the right decision which is understandable. This decision however is a tough one and it is realistically between Tavares and Matthews. Either player would make a great captain for the Leafs, but only one of them can fill the position.
In the end, I believe Matthews should be the next captain of this team. Tavares has all the leadership qualities as a lead by example player and former captain, however as the new guy in town he shouldn’t be handed that position. Even if the Leafs don’t name a captain this season and even if Tavares plays a full year in Toronto he still shouldn’t be the guy.
I think the clear answer is Matthews. He in my opinion is the franchise or the franchise guy. He was the first overall pick, he helped lead the Leafs out of the abyss and to the playoffs as a rookie and he has been in the organization for almost three years now. He is more than ready to shoulder the responsibility. I think it also will cause a bit of controversy if he isn’t named captain. If Matthews isn’t the guy, then his pending restricted free agency may become an issue. I’m not saying it will, but to think it is not a possibility is foolish. Ultimately, I think Matthews will end up being named captain, but it is a hard decision for Kyle Dubas and the Leafs brass to make.
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