Leafs will start season without a captain and that's no reason to be concerned

Auston Matthews and John Tavares fight for the puck during a regular season game between the New York Islanders and Toronto Maple Leafs on January 31, 2018. (Photo by Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Toronto Maple Leafs will continue to be patient in the process of naming a captain. So as they have for the last few years, Leafs fans will be forced to keep on playing the waiting game.

In an interview with TSN’s Bob McKenzie, Toronto’s general manager Kyle Dubas confirmed that his team likely won’t start the 2018-19 season with a captain.

“It’s a very important honour, I think, to be the captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs or any team that has a strong history,” said Dubas. “If we feel that we have a void in leadership because we don’t have a formal captain, then it’s something that I think we can address.”

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The Leafs haven’t had a “formal captain” since Dion Phaneuf (remember him?) wore the ‘C’ from 2011-12 to 2015-16. For the last two years, Toronto has gone without a captain as it was believed the organization was waiting for Auston Matthews to take the reins when he was ready.

The signing of John Tavares over the summer shifted everything.

Tavares is the former captain of the New York Islanders and his arrival stirred up the captaincy discussion in Toronto once again. As a result, a fan base is divided and the media has been prodding all summer for answers. Some believe that Tavares’ experience makes him the natural choice to be the team’s next captain while others want their young phenom to lead the Leafs back to glory.

Leafs fans divided? That’s out of character. They usually seem to be pretty unanimous about their thoughts on Jake Gardiner, William Nylander’s contract status and the long term health of Frederik Andersen.

“I don’t put a huge amount of emphasis on it,” said Dubas about the captaincy. “I’ve always thought that, in studying teams, they’re always best when they were patient with naming their captain and not rushing to name somebody.”

Kicking off the season without a captain will only become a story if the team has a poor start to the campaign. If things go well and Toronto has the strong year many expect them to, don’t expect to hear much more about the fact nobody is skating around with a ‘C’ on their chest.

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