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Babcock looking for Kawhi-esque Maple Leafs captain

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14.09.2019

SPORTSCENTRE Reporter

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TSN Toronto reporter Mark Masters checks in daily with news and notes on the Maple Leafs, who held a practice and two scrimmages​ on Friday at the Paradise Double Ice Complex in Paradise, NL.

Who will be the next captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs?

"We'll announce our decision here coming up and end the speculation," head coach Mike Babcock promised following the first on-ice workouts of training camp.

The top candidates appear to be obvious: Auston Matthews, John Tavares and Morgan Rielly.

"Great leaders in different aspects," observed Jason Spezza, who served as the Ottawa Senators captain in the 2013-14 season. "Morgan's been here for a long time, he knows how to deal with playing in Toronto, he's produced for a long time. Auston's just a flat-out superstar that is going to get better and better and get more mature as the years go on, he's in a great place and Johnny's just a consummate pro. Those three guys are all capable of being leaders and regardless of who they name captain I think they're always going to have to have each other to lean on and they’ll all be here for a while together."

Babcock has coached some of the greatest leaders in this generation of hockey, but when asked what he's looking for from the next Leafs captain, the veteran bench boss highlighted an example in a different spot: Kawhi Leonard, who led the Raptors to their first NBA title in June.

"He came into town and he changed things overnight with an unbelievable demeanour, with stick-to-itiveness like I haven't seen," Babcock gushed, "with a competitive edge,........

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