Tavares: Leafs' captaincy is 'a very special and significant role'
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Toronto Maple Leafs center John Tavares - who grew up in nearby Oakville and signed a seven-year deal with his hometown club last summer - understands the importance of possibly being the captain of the historic franchise.

The Maple Leafs haven't had a captain since Dion Phaneuf was traded in 2016, but that could change this season. However, Tavares isn't concerned about who the "C" is handed to, if anyone at all.

"I think it's a very special and significant role being with the Maple Leafs and the history of it," Tavares told TSN on Sunday. "There hasn't been one here for a little while, so certainly there can be a lot made about it, but we have so many good quality people and players in our locker room we know it’s not going to change."

Both Tavares and Morgan Rielly were alternate captains last season, and either - along with Auston Matthews - could be candidates to don the "C" this year.

"I think we will have a good idea when the time is right. I think we have plenty of guys that can fill that role and do a great job at it," Tavares continued.

"I think that's a real special thing to have when you have so many quality people and quality players that can really fill that role and really embrace that opportunity. Obviously, there's special significance to it, so when the time is right, I know that they will address it and do that if it’s necessary."

Tavares, who will turn 29 before the start of the season, is already the fifth-oldest player on the young squad. He scored a career-high 47 goals in his first season in Toronto.

Tavares: Leafs' captaincy is 'a very special and significant role'
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