The time is now: Maple Leafs to name a Captain and Marner
The Maple Leafs have been without a Captain now since the departure of Dion Phaneuf. I’m certainly glad they didn’t rush to give anyone the honour of the captaincy like they did with Dion. It’s more than just being the big piece moved in from a blockbuster trade or being a number one overall pick. It’s not who scores the most goals or lays the biggest hits; being a captain of a National Hockey League team is something of pride and takes a special player.
A captain is someone who can lift the team when they need a spark, someone who will fight for their teammates; one who’s not only well liked in the dressing room by the team and management but someone who’s well respected.
Nothing against Dion, but he wasn’t exactly the best Captain in Leafs history. Their next Captain will certainly be a better pick, a wiser pick and a well thought out one. If it’s Rielly, Matthews or Tavares I think the Leafs have themselves an excellent leader. It’s going to happen this season and I hope its addressed before the season get’s underway. The Leafs need a leader on the ice, one that the players, fans, referees and opponents can all see. The big C stitched on someone’s chest is a must for the 2019-20 season.
Growing up I can remember Clark and Gilmour sporting the C. Then there was Sundin for years, all great leaders in their own way. The Leafs need to honour the right player with the big job of living up to the expectations of a Maple Leafs Captain. It’s a big job in Toronto with a rabid fan base and the cup drought and all the ‘fun’ that goes along with it. There is certainly a lot more media interaction in Toronto as well as many negative writers who seem to enjoy bashing players and management for a living. So whoever’s leading this team will have to be able to deal with all that goes with the job.
Personally; I think both Rielly and Tavares fit this role perfectly. Matthews is right there with them, but could certainly fill the role.
Who do you think is the best candidate for the job?
It’s been an offseason with a lot of Mitch Marner talks. Lots of garbage spewed about offer sheets and people throwing out numbers of 10 million all the way up to 13 million. It’s classic Leafs Nation fever.
Last year Nylander held out and we all saw how that unfolded for him. Basically a waste of a season.
If Marner didn’t take note on how the players, fans and play of Nylander then he must not have been paying attention. It was ugly and certainly did no favours for Willy going forward. He’s back to having to prove himself and his new contract that he held out for. Not how things should get done in my opinion, but hey; whatever gets the job done I guess.
Marner needs to ink this deal before the season starts. Ideally he signs on the dotted line before training camp and the Leafs can get all their ducks in a row and prepare for the start of the season without any distractions. As it is there will be a few injuries to deal with to start the season (Hyman, Dermott). It’s vital for Marner to get in a quality camp, pre-season and start of regular season. Tavares is certainly counting on him to be playing game one, they were the dynamic duo last season and the race to fifty is on (Matthews/Tavares).
Starting the season with less distractions and negativity the better. As we know every point is huge down the stretch and I don’t know about you guys but I am looking for home ice advantage this year finishing second in the Conference behind Tampa Bay. No reason we can’t give them a run for their money now that the buds have a primed up roster. Let’s break some records this season; I’m all in on this Leafs roster.
What kind of numbers are we looking at for Marner?
I wish I could tell you; but I’d like to see an 8 year deal at 10 million per. Regardless of what each camp is saying or how many years Marner wants to sign for. I want the Leafs to go for max years and a solid 10 million a year. Honestly, how could you turn that down if you are a Leafs fan growing up and you are guaranteeing 80 million dollars in your bank account doing so?
Let’s get all the loose ends tied and get ready for a big season of hockey.
Thanks for reading, enjoy your day!