Last offseason Maple Leafs head coach, Mike Babcock made a trip to Arizona to spend some time with Auston Matthews to discuss his expectations coming into the 2018/2019 season. More recently, another trip was made by Coach Babcock and believe is, all aspects of his game were discussed, including his new threads.
Brendan Shanahan has made it clear a Captain will be named this season. Auston Matthews is the perfect choice.
The American superstar with a global resume was in complete beast mode the entire 7 game series against the Bruins as he led the Leafs with 5 goals in 7 games. With the way Matthews carried himself on and off the ice during the postseason to go along with 3 excellent regular seasons in Toronto (205 points in 212 games), the Maple Leafs could not be happier with the Arizona native. These playoffs Matthews was full of candid quotes, factual information, and displayed an expectation of accountability in the tone of his voice to the media. Kyle Dubas has a no-brainer on his hands, Auston Matthews should be the next captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Maple Leafs have gone 5 of the last 11 years without a captain, it’s time to give Matthews the reigns. Some would say it’s just a letter on the jersey while others would say it’s a huge honour and a privilege. You can debate leading by example, or you can choose the side of being the vocal leader instead. Regardless of your leadership style preference, the Maple Leafs management group should make Matthews captain, the kid deserves it, he’s perfect for the job, and the move makes complete sense. What won’t make sense will be the people who say doing so will be an indirect slap in the face of Mike Babcock. Pump the brakes, this has nothing to do with the coach, and everything to do with Matthews deserving the captaincy. The ‘Matthews Minutes Gate’ appears to not want to go away and the only thing regarding it I do question, why was Hyman on one leg playing on the team’s top line so much. Matthews should have received some minutes with Marner and Tavares when you’re down in an elimination game and it never happened. Make that two elimination games, throw in game 6. Feels like the Maple Leafs will give another crack to Babs and perhaps there will be moving parts on his staff around him instead.
Speaking of uncertainty, there’s plenty surrounding the majority of the Maple Leafs forward group and throw in the chance Ron Hainsey not returning, the Leafs are confident they can build around a leadership core of Matthews, Tavares and Morgan Rielly.
Then this popped into my head
There is zero chance Matthews is named captain while the Marner talks continue as since it’s so personal, having the spotlight shine brighter on #34 and not #16 would send Paul Marner over the deep end.
Marner signs, Matthews gets the ‘C’. All will be good in the 6ix.