Before Tavares’ stunning announcement that he was leaving the New York Islanders to play for his hometown team, many were pegging young star Auston Matthews as the heir apparent, but now it’s not so set in stone.
For what it’s worth, if it were up to Rick Vaive, a former Leafs captain himself, it’s a no-brainer who should be wearing that coveted C on the Blue and White’s sweater this coming season.
“I would make John Tavares captain ASAP if he wanted it in Toronto,” Vaive told Greg Brady and Hugh Burill on Sportsnet 590 Thursday morning. “Now I think you’d have to ask him, but I don’t think he’d have a problem with it because I think that him as a captain, he’s gonna make these young guys work that much harder to be the best they can possibly be.
“Not that they don’t work hard already, but nobody does it like Johnny, and I can tell you that for fact. This guy is meticulous about his game-day ritual, the way he works on everything – his skills and everything else – and he never quits on a puck when he’s on the ice.
“If he’s wearing the C he’s gonna push all those young guys to be that much better, and I think that does nothing but elevate the Leafs to another level.”
Vaive captained the Leafs from 1982-86 and had back-to-back-to-back 50-goal seasons for Toronto from 1981-84.
You can listen to Vaive’s entire appearance with Brady and Burill below where he talks about, among other topics, what it’s like to be a Leafs captain.