TORONTO (CTV) — John Tavares said recently when he used to dream about playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs there wasn’t a ‘C’ on his jersey.
Just being on the ice in blue and white was enough.
Now the 29-year-old has surpassed even his own childhood expectations.
Tavares was named the 25th captain in franchise history Wednesday during the pre-game ceremony before the NHL season opener against the Ottawa Senators, filling a role that had been vacant for more than 3 1/2 years.
The Oakville, Ont., product was told the news 48 hours earlier, with wife Aryne and three-week-old son Jace playing a part in the unveiling at the team’s offices.
In a video released by the Leafs, Jace wore a miniature version of his dad’s No. 91 jersey with a ‘C’ on the front before Tavares was handed the real thing by head coach Mike Babcock.
“I’ll never forget that moment,” Tavares said following Toronto’s 5-3 victory over Ottawa. “It’s been an amazing three weeks. To see (Jace) there with it on to be the one to tell me was very emotional and really, really special.
“It’s hard to really describe it.”