Maple Leafs ‘don’t think it’s necessary’ to have a captain right now

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No captain? No problem last season for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Maple Leafs will go without a captain for the 2017-18 season, as well.

General manager Lou Lamoriello suggested a few months ago that this was a possibility, and on Thursday, both him and coach Mike Babcock confirmed the news.

“When it’s the right time, there will be a captain,” said Lamoriello, per the Toronto Star. “If it was the right time, we would have a captain. It’s something internal. Right now where we are as a team, and the number of leaders that we have in that room, we don’t think it’s necessary. It’s as simple as that.”

Auston Matthews has been mentioned as the likely candidate to eventually become the next captain of the Maple Leafs.

With a talented young roster and Matthews at the centerpiece as a rookie, Toronto jumped from being a lottery team in 2016 to a playoff team in 2017, giving Washington a difficult first-round series. Matthews, who scored 40 goals in his freshman year, won the Calder Trophy.

“It would be a privilege and honour,” said Matthews earlier this summer, per Sportsnet. “If you look at the line of captains that have come before us, the players that have come before us, it would definitely be a pretty big honour.”