Toronto Maple Leafs center John Tavares has been named the 25th captain in the history of the Original Six franchise.
Tavares received a thunderous ovation at Scotiabank Arena after he was the last player introduced prior to Wednesday's season-opening game against the visiting Ottawa Senators.
The 29-year-old Ontario native is the first player to wear the "C" on his jersey for Toronto since defenseman Dion Phaneuf was traded to the Senators in February 2016.
"We went through a process that's been going on for a long time," Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock said on Wednesday morning, per TSN. "We've been watching this guy. We didn't name a captain for a long time because we didn't think it was obvious. And don't get me wrong, we talked a ton about this. We talked to our players about this. We talked to our staff about it. We talked to our management team about it. In the end, we made the right decision for the Leafs and we're excited about this opportunity."
Tavares previously served as captain of the New York Islanders from 2013-18 before signing a seven-year, $77 million contract with Toronto. He recorded career highs in goals (47) and points (88) during his first season with the Maple Leafs.
Defenseman Morgan Rielly will serve as one alternate captain, while forwards Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner will rotate as alternate captains throughout the season.
-- Field Level Media