It’s over… It’s finally over! The Toronto Maple Leafs appear to have named a captain ahead of the 2019/2020 season, keeping true to their word.
Yes, the three-horse-race is over, it would seem, with a few telling tweets showing come rather conclusive evidence that Auston Matthews has been named the next captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs. First, a video with John Tavares:
Here’s known Maple Leaf John Tavares telling everyone who’s Captain. pic.twitter.com/DSQnQhjpPa
— laura all by myself duarte (@duarteelauraa) September 13, 2019
A bashful smile from Matthews is conjured from former New York Islanders captain John Tavares as he states “Captain Matts here will be leading the way in the Atlantic.” Could it just be a little playful jab at the captain situation in Toronto? Sure, but both players have artfully dodged any real answer to questions on it, so I doubt it.
The clip looks to be apart of the post-announcement video where the team’s PR team shows Matthews has the full support of his teammates and running opposition in the race for the captaincy.
Exhibit two is an image showing Matthews jersey from their promo shoots with what looks to be a white “C” on the right shoulder:
h/t @LeafsReddit and posted by /u/Ajking_88
— Jori (@flykessel) September 13, 2019
This picture is a bit more sketchy than the video, where you can clearly hear Tavares’ words, but I’m still buying in on this one. The “C” is visible and was possibly scrubbed to throw off onlookers and potential photo-takers on set.
So there we have it – the Leafs have a new captain in Auston Matthews. Can we shut up about him leaving in five years, now? Matthews will be a great leader, in my opinion, because he wasn’t handed this title. No, he’s earned it over his first few seasons and has likely learned from his teammates about how to lead a team.
The announcement should be imminent. It was rumored to be held off until Mitch Marner signs as to not add another wrench in the negotiations, but that seems to be out the window with these two tweets coming out as training camp opens.
Regardless, the search is over and Auston Matthews succeeds Dion Phaneuf as the Toronto Maple Leafs’ next team captain, picking up the Mats Sundin mantle as the first-line center team leader.