Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares celebrating a goal
Photo credit: Sportsnet

Leafs' Head Coach Issues a Major Demotion For Captain Tavares

Published February 21, 2024 at 2:54 PM
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Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares has not been performing to his usual standard lately. Sheldon Keefe has noticed this and now he's made a major move for the team's captain.

Sheldon Keefe Demotes Tavares To Leafs Third Line



Leafs reporter David Alter announced the lines the Leafs were using at morning skate today. They contained many changes among the forward lines, including an entirely new 2nd line of Tyler Bertuzzi and William Nylander centered by Max Domi. In a corresponding move, John Tavares has been bumped down to the 3rd line.

#Leafs lines during morning skate Feb. 21/24


Knies-Matthews-Marner
Bertuzzi-Domi-Nylander
McMann-Tavares-Robertson
Holmberg-Kampf-Gregor
Reaves

Brodie-Liljegren
Benoit-McCabe
Rifai-Lajoie
Rielly-Lagesson


The fan reaction to this was mixed, although several fans have expressed joy in the fact that Tavares has bee bumped down. The Leafs captain has just 6 points in his last 10 games, a steady drop from his typical production.


Tavares' Age Becoming A Factor In How Leafs Deploy Him



The Leafs' captain has seemed to begin the slow process of age-related decline this season. It has been especially noticeable over the last couple of months. The 33-yer-old certainly isn't getting any younger and he was never a particularly fast player to begin with. A smaller role on the team could help rejuvenate him but the team could still use him on the power play, where he will still have a good opportunity to score points.



Less ice time at 5 on 5 could be a way for the Leafs to keep their captain fresh. Besides that, center depth is extremely important in the playoffs, if someone else could take over the 2C role, it could give the team a boost to their depth. Be sure to tune in tonight as the Leafs take on the Coyotes to see how Tavares does in his new role.

As seen on MAJOR: John Tavares Officially Hits Rock Bottom in Toronto
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Leafs' Head Coach Issues a Major Demotion For Captain Tavares

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