New Captain in Toronto: Maple Leafs Strip John Tavares Of Captaincy

New Captain in Toronto: Maple Leafs Strip John Tavares Of Captaincy

Toronto has made many moves this offseason, but there are rumours regarding captain, John Tavares. According to Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet, the Maple Leafs may be contemplating a captaincy change.

Could There Be a New Captain in Toronto?

Tavares has served as Maple Leafs captain for the past five seasons. He was appointed the 25th captain in Leafs history for the 2019-20 season. In just one season, he received a seven-year contract worth $77 million. Alternate captains include Morgan Rielly, Austin Matthews, and Mitchell Marner. Nick Kypreos, a retired NHLer and former Maple Leaf, believes there is considerable traction behind the suggestion that the Maple Leafs could remove him as captain.

“From what I’m hearing, the Leafs are contemplating taking the captaincy away from him and giving it to Auston. They will talk about it,” he said. “I’m not saying it’s going to happen, but it’s real.”

Matthews has never worn the ‘C’ in his professional career, therefore he would be the 26th captain in franchise history. He would also be the first NHL captain of Latino descent, as he identifies as Mexican through his mother’s side of the family. This notion is not altogether crazy, as fans have already requested that Matthews replace Tavares as captain. As a superstar, Matthews plays with a much more authoritative presence on the ice. Fans have praised Matthews’ locker room leadership talents, as shown in behind-the-scenes recordings.

However, if this Tavares captaincy rumour were to become true, one could only wonder how the team’s morale would be affected. The 33-year-old is a well-respected player in the league and something like stripping his captaincy could come off as rude or disrespectful. Teams don’t typically change captains just for the sake of shaking things up. Usually that would only happen if a player retires or moves on to another team. A decision as such isn’t very common and would spark a sea of media attention.

Tavares’ Future in Toronto

Tavares, who was drafted first overall by the Islanders in 2009, is entering the final year of his current contract with the Leafs. He has 419 points in 440 games for the Buds and has been an excellent second-line center for them. Rumors suggest that General Manager Brad Treliving is interested in Tavares’ services. Tavares has a full no-move provision in his contract and earns significantly more than his worth. As a result, he is unlikely to be traded during his contract’s final year.

Many people question if the captain and the Maple Leafs will reach an agreement on a deal for next season. It’s obvious that the Mississauga native should be paid substantially less than his current salary, but can both parties agree on the term and value? In addition, the GM must prioritize Marner’s contract expiration. Regardless, the current Toronto Maple Leafs captain will have to tune out the clamor and give it his best in what will be his contract year.

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