Toronto native will captain Leafs for 2019-20 campaign
John Tavares would have grown up believing that this day may never come, but this week he would have felt like all of his Christmas’ came at once when he was revealed as the new captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The 29-year-old boyhood Leafs fan was named as the 25th captain in franchise history during a ceremony before the opening match of the NHL season against the Ottawa Senators. In doing so, Tavares has filled a vacancy that has been empty for the best part of three years.
In the heartwarming video to reveal the announcement Tavares’ three-year-old was videos wearing a Tavares jersey with the ‘C’ on the front. Before the camera pans to Mike Babcock handing the former Islanders captain the real thing.
Speaking after the Leafs opening day victory over the Senators, Tavares said: “I’ll never forget that moment. It’s been an amazing three weeks. To see Jace there with it on to be the one to tell me was very emotional and really, really special.
“It’s hard to really describe it.”
General manager, Kyle Dubas could hardly contain his excitement when quizzed about the appointment. He told reporters: “He is someone that goes about his habits and his business every day so consistently and so calmly sets such a good example for everybody in our locker room.”
“We think he was a great choice. But one of the major benefits that we had is that we had a number of candidates for the position. We were able to go through each player.
“Not that there was anything overly negative about any of them. It was legitimately a case where we felt we had a number of players that could carry that honour.
“In the end, we just decided as a collective group that John fit the role the absolute best at this time, and that’s how we were going to go ahead.”