There was plenty of speculation over the summer whether or not Auston Matthews would be the Toronto Maple Leafs captain this coming season.
Mike Babcock told reporters in mid-September, the Leafs will be without a captain for a second straight season.
The #leafs won’t have a captain this season, per Mike Babcock. Now let’s all move on.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) September 14, 2017
It was the right decision.
This is not to argue that Auston Matthews is not ready for captaincy. Matthews is ready. He has the level of maturity that goes beyond most players his age. Handles himself like a veteran after every goal he scores.
But just because he is ready, it does not mean it is the right move.
The Leafs need to be patient in their picking (even though let us be honest, the captain is going to be without a doubt, Matthews). The Leafs need to give every player an equal chance and not show favoritism.
To young guys like Nylander and Marner, it would not be fair to them if Matthews was picked only after one season. Sure he was the best player, but the other two were almost equally as good.
While a slump will most likely not happen with a near-generational talent in Auston Matthews, his upcoming season must be evaluated.
This year is a big year for all of the last years’ rookies.