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"Do something Lou!"
I'm a realist, not a pessimist, NY • United States • 23 Years Old • Male
The leadership quality of Devil's captain Jamie Langenbrunner has been questioned since last year's mid-season slide, a trend that's worsened as it crossed into this year's campaign. At this point in the season, Langenbrunner's been as ineffective as most of the players on this team have been with only three goals and eleven points in eighteen games, going a minus ten. As captain, there's added pressure for Langenbrunner to take initiative in these hard times. The "C" on his jersey means he should be motivating his team mates on and off the ice and lead by example, which doesn't seem to be the case based on his play and attitude.

After last year's first round playoff exit, the third consecutive under Langenbrunner's captaincy, it was clear changes were needed. Over this past off-season, I preached it was time to dismantle the old guard and install newer and younger faces on the roster. Most people disagreed. Changes were made, but Lamoriello added instead of replaced because he seemed too stubborn or committed to let go of his long time core players he's achieved past success with. Change can happen to this team any time between now and this year's trade deadline, even beyond then to a lesser degree. Save a few line shuffles, injuries, and AHL call ups, nothing significant has been attempted to shake things up and lift them out of this funk. If that blockbuster trade or coaching change isn't in the cards as many fans are hoping, why not switch up leadership roles in the locker room?

If this were considered, who should inherit the "C" from Jamie Langenbrunner's jersey? With few positives and so many first year players in the Devil's locker room, candidates are scarce. Patrik Elias has been there and done that, Ilya Kovalchuk has enough on his plate to worry about, Zach Parise's injured and rumors are circulating on his certainty to remain in the team's long term plans. Colin White's been on this team longer than anyone outside of Martin Brodeur and Patrik Elias but doesn't appear captain-like material. With all things considered, I would nominate Jason Arnott and for good reason.

Jason Arnott had a prior stint with the Devils where his and the team's successes were well documented. So far, he seems to have continued where he left off, leading the team with nine goals and is second in points with fourteen. His play brings the closest form of consistency any player's showed this year and I'd say he's one of the few players bringing their A-game each night. When he was initially re-acquired by the Devils, there was a lot of concern about his age, health, and productivity. So far, I can say in confidence he's shutting his critics up. You can say he's leading by example with his play and being a long time veteran and former captain himself, I wouldn't doubt the other players listen when he speaks in the locker room.

The fact that this is Arnott's first year back in the organization on his second stint could make it all the more better to give him the "C". He's familiar with the organization and their philosophy, which has changed very little if at all during his time away. There's been a considerable amount of time since he last played for the Devils (eight and a half years) so he hasn't overstayed his welcome, contrary to what some fans believe could be the case with their current captain. To make matters more intriguing, Arnott stated multiple times New Jersey was his top trade destination. Despite the current circumstances, he wants to be here and based on what he says to the media, sounds committed to the team and intent on helping push a turnaround in any way possible, all quality signs of a true leader.

A shakeup of this magnitude wouldn't be overly drastic but a change in looking to a new face as their leader could get the team going. Like I said, Arnott is familiar with the organization and some of the players that were here during his first stint. He's returned to the Devils wiser, more experienced and his prior history with the team doesn't necessarily make him an outsider. With Arnott currently being the team's most potent scorer, if the pressure of the added "C" doesn't alter his game, seeing their captain spearhead the team's positives to date could be contagious amongst his team mates.
Filed Under:   amerk626   new jersey devils   jason arnott  
December 6, 2010 2:18 PM ET | Delete
good to hear from you again....if anyone gets it I think its zach....for some reason though everyone in the locker room seems really loyal to langs so I doubt he loses it anytime soon....
December 6, 2010 3:02 PM ET | Delete
Giving Zach the C would be a good first step to repairing the damage Lou did by signing Ilya so that Parise might be more willing to stay in a crumbling NJ organization. But maybe Arnott gets it for the rest of the season and the Parise next season, assuming an offer sheet doesn't take him away.
December 6, 2010 3:02 PM ET | Delete
On a side note, can you get that other Devils guy that's been posting over and over again to stop?
December 6, 2010 3:18 PM ET | Delete
No, you cannot take the C from Langenbrunner and give it to another player. If you take the C away you don't give it to anybody for the rest of the season. Giving it to somebody else will split the room and on top of that I don't think anybody would take it. Giving Arnott the C is ridiculous seeing that most of the people in the room weren't his teammate during his past Devil days.
December 6, 2010 3:33 PM ET | Delete
Langenbrunner is a rough captain, but he's the guy in the room the players follow. Maybe they need to follow someone else who will lead them in a DIFFERENT direction- which can only be better than the crap they're playing now. it is what it is. he'll be gone soon.
December 6, 2010 3:52 PM ET | Delete
December 6, 2010 9:51 PM ET | Delete
Honestly no one on this team has shown captain material. I think Parise might be one, but he still has to earn it. If it were possible I would strip all the a's and the "c" off the sweaters and just go without any sort of captains. If not they should go to Pelley and .......
December 7, 2010 10:11 AM ET | Delete
I'd say he's one of the few players bringing their A-game each night.*********** Seriously, reading that made me spit my coffee out. No one was a lazier loafer on our team than Arnott.
December 7, 2010 8:28 PM ET | Delete
December 8, 2010 2:15 PM ET | Delete
Why give it to a one-year player on Arnott? Give it to someone for the longterm. If not Zach, then no one. No one deserves it at this point. Period.
December 8, 2010 10:02 PM ET | Delete
Parise should get that. No questions. That is if he is willing to stay with the organization as it is right now.
December 10, 2010 10:39 AM ET | Delete
No Arnott. We need some someone to wear the C for a few years...not half a year.
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