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."