Brendan Shanahan is predicting that someone will wear the "C" for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2019-20.
"I like our leadership group," the club's president told the Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons. "I like that we have several different really good options. I'm not speaking out of school, I believe (head coach) Mike (Babcock) and (general manager) Kyle (Dubas) and I, we will have a captain this year. And I think we have several good options. Only one person is going to wear a 'C,' but you need lots of captains."
Those options conceivably include Auston Matthews and John Tavares, both of whom have been prodded about the matter throughout the offseason. Shanahan specifically mentioned the younger of the two in his conversation with Simmons.
"You might be the leader on the ice, another guy might be the leader in the room, another guy might be the leader on the road, there's nothing wrong with lots of leaders," the team president said. "What's Matthews, 22? He's 21, I think. He'll be 22 soon. I feel that all players constantly evolve, you have to succeed. You're never settled. The moment you get settled you start to decline."
Matthews posted a career-high 73 points across 68 regular-season games in 2018-19, his third NHL season.
Tavares, who wore the "C" for five campaigns with the New York Islanders, tallied 47 goals and 88 points while playing every contest in his first season with the Maple Leafs.
The club has gone without a captain since Dion Phaneuf was traded away in February 2016.