Assessing the Toronto Maple Leafs Leadership in 2023-24

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Maple Leafs had a busy offseason but will return with most of their core intact.

Toronto Maple Leafs Captain John Tavares will lead the way with his on-ice presence and locker-room role to help motivate the team. He is the definition of a captain and his presence in general will ensure the team has excellent leadership.

Mitch Marner, should once again flirt with 100 points and his importance to the Toronto Maple Leafs is massive. Marner is an excellent leader, both by example and by his attitude.

Though the Leafs will no longer have Jake Muzzin or Ryan O’Reilly, their young stars should fill that void going forward.

Assessing the Toronto Maple Leafs Leadership in 2023-24

Whether it was Nick Foligno or Joe Thornton, the Leafs have tried various older players to provide leadership.

This year, the Leafs will still have the 40 year-old Mark Giordano, but overall the leadership of their team is now in the control of the Core Four.

Auston Matthews is now 25 and ready to take the next step. Tavares’ contract is almost up and Matthews will almost certainly be the Leafs next Captain.

Beyond his MVP skills,  Matthews always sounds mature when he speaks with the media, and other Leafs have to be motivated by dedication and respect for the club and its fans.

Matthews has obviously learned a lot from Tavares over the years and will make a great captain when the time comes.

An underrated leader on the Leafs is William Nylander, who should pick up where he left off last year when he scored 40 goals.

Nylander’s game should be motivated by the fact this is a contract year.  He could perhaps have a career year, and any leadership he provides is a bonus.

The Leafs might not have any traditional cheerleader-type leaders, but all their players lead by example and as we saw with legendary Leafs Captain Mats Sundin, that is often enough.

The Toronto Maple Leafs likely won’t have any trouble filling in the void left by Bunting, O’Reilly, Kerfoot or Jake Muzzin.  There doesn’t seem to be much leadership abilities in the players they brought in, but maybe that is by design.

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It’s time for the Core Four to take the reins and lead this team to victory. I have no doubt that the Toronto Maple Leafs leadership is in excellent hands.  Will a Stanley Cup be the result? We can only hope, but it’s not impossible.