Friday, January 23, 2009

O Captain, My Captain.

In honor of it being All-Star weekend, and showcasing the best talent the NHL has to offer, I figured we could take a look 30 NHL Captains. Some of them may not be the most "talented" players and you might not find them in the All-Star game Sunday, but most of these players have ability to lead their teams by example whether it's on or off the ice. Winning teams don't just need great talent, they need great leaders...just ask Ottawa how that's working out. So here's the list, in alphabetical order:

  • Ducks - Scott Niedermayer
  • Thrashers - Ilya Kovalchuk
  • Bruins - Zhedno Chara
  • Sabres - Craig Rivet
  • Flames - Jarome Iginla
  • Hurricanes - Ugly man (Brind'Amour)
  • Blackhawk - Jonathan Toews
  • Avalanche - Joe Sakic
  • Blue Jackets - Rick Nash
  • Stars - Brenden Morrow
  • Red Wings - Nick Lidstrom
  • Oilers - Ethan Moreau
  • Panthers - noooobody
  • Kings - Dustin Brown
  • Wild - Mikko Koivu
  • Canadians - Saku Koivu/Alex Kovalev
  • Predators - Jason Arnott
  • Devils - Jamie Langenbrunner
  • Islanders - Billy Guerin
  • Rangers - Chris Drury
  • Sens - Daniel Alfredsson
  • Flyers - Mike Richards
  • Coyotes - Shane Doan
  • Penguins - Sidney Crosby
  • Sharks - Patrick Marleau
  • Blues - Eric Brewer
  • Lightning - Vincent Lecavlaier
  • Leafs - Mats Sundin's Ghost
  • Canucks - Luongo
  • Caps - Chris Clark

So after looking of this list, I have to pose the obvious question. Which of the guys would you want leading your team? When you're team needs a lift, needs that game tying goal, who do you go to? What makes the Perfect Captain? I have to say my choice would be hands down Jarome Iginla. He scores, he leads, he fights, he's black...I mean badass.

Now THESE are real captains...minus the guy playing for the Lightning.

Iginla, Shane Doan, Niedermayer, Joe Sakic, Chris Clark, Lidstrom. I think those are some of the best Captains in the game today...even if Sakic doesn't return. I wouldn't dare argue for Crosby on that list, he's not there yet. He leads by example on the ice talent wise, but for one, he wouldn't be the player I'm looking to carry the team to bout Malkin if he could speak English? Plus the bitching and moaning Crosby does at times takes away from his elite...captainess? Whatever, it's a word now.

Luongo being a Captain to me is joke. He can't be vocal on the bench, he won't talk to the refs...the only thing he can do is lead in net..but what if it's 6-5 with 3:00 left in Game 7? Luongo can't score that goal. Goalies shouldn't be Captains.

Why isn't Jay Bouwmeester Captain of the Panthers yet? And poor Toronto...they still think Sundin is coming back :'(

With the "New" NHL however, we see a lot of the younger guys getting the C slapped on their jerseys. It's the new trend. This year alone, Dustin Brown(24), Mike Richards(23), and Jonathan Toews(20) all were named Captain of their respective teams. Add in Crosby and Mikko Koivu and you have 5 C's on 25 and under dude sweats. My bet would be Getzlaf (23) gets the C of the Ducks next year after Niedermayer retires and I'm sure Ovechkin will be getting that C very soon someday.

Anyways, I just wanted to offer up some kudos to the men that lead our teams into battle every night, I can't touch on all of them cause well...that's a long fn post. Even if your guy didn't make into the All-Star game...who cares...come playoff time, if you're lucky enough to have on of those top notch Captains leading the way, I'd say you already have a pretty good advantage.
Fact: BanginPanger is not meant as an insult to the one and only Darren Pang, nor do I claim to be him. The views and opinions presented on BanginPanger are of my own, and no other namesake of the site, the NHL, Buffalo Sabres, Washington Capitals, or anyone else.