Auston Matthews may seem like the obvious choice to become the next captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs, but former captain Mats Sundin said that may not necessarily be the case.
"It's easy to say Auston Matthews, he should be the captain," Sundin told TSN 1050 on Friday. "But saying that, it has to be a player and a person that also wants to carry that responsibility and actually plays better wearing the C."
Toronto has not had a captain since defenseman Dion Phaneuf was traded to the Ottawa Senators on Feb. 9, 2016; he was captain since the 2010-11 season. Last season, forwards Tyler Bozak and Leo Komarov, and defenseman Morgan Rielly were alternate captains.
Kyle Dubas, who was promoted to general manager May 11, replacing Lou Lamoriello, said there is no urgency to name a captain.
"You really have to be in the dressing room, as a manager, as a coach or as other players, you kind of know who are the leaders in the team and in the room, especially when a team is so young," Sundin said on "Leafs Lunch." "… I'm sure everybody (on the inside) knows who is potentially going to be the captain."
Sundin, a Hockey Hall of Fame member, was Maple Leafs captain from 1997-2008, taking over from Doug Gilmour. Toronto also went two seasons without one after Sundin left, until Phaneuf was named.