Tavares says next captain of Maple Leafs will be ‘great one’
- Toronto has not had a captain since defenseman Dion Phaneuf was traded to the Ottawa Senators on Feb. 9, 2016; and general manager Kyle Dubas has said naming a captain is a significant decision because of the responsibility it carries for an Original Six team.
- John Tavares said the chance to be Toronto Maple Leafs captain would be an honor but noted whoever is selected will have a strong leadership group in place to help him.
“No question being a Maple Leaf and the history, what it means, the tradition, the connection to the fan base and city, it’s a big deal but at the same time you don’t want to let it change you,” Tavares said Monday after skating with teammates. “You just want to be yourself and play your game but whatever happens, I know we’re going to have a great one, whoever it is. We want to all support whoever it is.”
“I know from my time being a captain, you realize how important the people are around you, that you don’t have all the answers and that you have to lean on your teammates,” Tavares said. “When you have so many great players, great people, guys who can lead and could wear the C here and be that guy, you realize just how much you can lean on everyone else because you’ve got all those guys around you to lift you up and help you when things aren’t going well.”
- Here’s what he had to say about the best defenseman on the team, Morgan Rielly.
“Morgan being here as long as he has (six seasons) and his maturity level, you can see it in his game and how he carries himself off the ice, just very level headed especially as a defenseman which is a very tough position to play with the amount of load he carries,” Tavares said.
- If you read between the lines, Tavares would be honored if he’s named Leafs team Captain, but thinks Morgan Rielly would be the perfect candidate for the job.
- He doesn’t want to be Captain… He wants Morgan to be….
Morgan Rielly (#44) All 20 Goals of the 2018-19 NHL Season