Auston Matthews says he’s ready to wear to the “C” for the Toronto Maple Leafs. And Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports believes the 20-year-old rising star is the obvious choice to become the 22nd captain in the storied franchise’s history.
“I feel like the real captain is going be, at one point, Auston Matthews,” Lavoie said Thursday on the Jeff Blair Show. “That’s what I see, and it wouldn’t be a mistake if they announce it at training camp that he’s gonna be the next captain of that team.”
The question of who should captain the Maple Leafs, a team that’s gone without one for more than two seasons, has been a hot topic of debate among fans and the media alike. Matthews and newly-acquired superstar John Tavares are considered the front-runners.
The argument for Tavares is that he’s a more veteran guy and has just captained the New York Islanders for the past five seasons. Lavoie, however, doesn’t buy that argument, saying Tavares coming in as the big free agent acquisition complicates matters, in addition to a stark difference he would see in captaining the Islanders in comparison to the Leafs.
“There will be a lot of pressure on him. Toronto is not Long Island. So why put a ‘C’ on his jersey? Why put more pressure on him? I don’t see the value in doing that,” said Lavoie. “I feel like that’s what’s perfect right now.
“You have Auston Matthews, a young stud who’s coming in and still has a lot to prove, but he’s a leader. And you have John Tavares, unbelievable player, but the pressure on John’s gonna be totally different [and will be] something that he maybe has never experienced in his career in the NHL. And believe me, he doesn’t need the coaching staff or the GM to say, ‘Hey John, you need to perform this year.’ He knows, and he’s gonna be his own biggest critic. So that’s why put an ‘A’ on his jersey. That’s it; that’s all.”
No matter who ends up wearing that coveted “C,” the other big question is when the decision will be announced, and that still remains anybody’s guess.
“I think they have a plan,” Lavoie said. “They’re not gonna announce it to us before the start of training camp, but there’s a plan in place.”
Leafs fans all eagerly await the final call on said plan.