John Tavares, Patrick Marleau and Morgan Rielly were named alternate captains for the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday.
Tavares and Marleau replace forwards Leo Komarov and Tyler Bozak, who departed this summer as free agents. Rielly, a 24-year-old defenceman, was an alternate captain last season.
The honor was not lost on Tavares, who joined the Maple Leafs on July 1 after signing a seven-year, $77 million contract.
“I think first for management, the organization, to feel that as a new guy coming in that I can make that kind of impact right away on the group and be looked upon as a leader is something I’m very thankful for and don’t take for granted,” said the 27-year-old center.
Toronto general manager Kyle Dubas told TSN he didn’t think the Maple Leafs would have a captain this season.
“Not from the outset, I think,” Dubas said. “It’s a very important honor to be the captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs or any team that has a strong history.”
Center Auston Matthews was considered a likely pick to be captain but will not wear a letter this season.
Tavares served as captain of the Islanders for the previous five seasons.
Marleau, 38, signed with the Maple Leafs on July 2, 2017. The forward was captain of the San Jose Sharks from 2003-09.
The Maple Leafs have not had a captain since February 2016 when defenceman Dion Phaneuf was traded to the Ottawa Senators.
—Field Level Media