Over the past couple days, the NHL has two new captains. In Edmonton, the Oilers named Connor McDavid the captain, being the youngest player in NHL history. The Oilers also named newly acquired Milan Lucic; center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins; and winger Jordan Eberle the alternative captains. The Florida Panthers named Derek MacKenzie the captain, with defenseman Aaron Ekblad and winger Jussi Jokinen the alternative captains. The defenition of the captain between these two teams is entirely different, proving that the league is starting the favor one direction over the other.
Going with the new direction, Conor McDavid is the best player on the Oilers, being over a point per game player in half a season in his rookie season. With the former captain, defenseman Andrew Ference going to the wayside, McDavid is showing the promise to be potentially the next best player in the NHL, and the Oilers are taking advantage of that by giving him the most recognition with the C. McDavid full on deserves the captaincy, but with the 19 year old best player taking the captaincy, the definition has changed.
More and more teams have given the captaincy to the best player, even though he may not have the best leadership qualities to bring the team together and help them win on the ice. Captains are also great with the media to let us know what is going on, but with the best players getting it, the captaincy also makes the media ask the best player what the best needs to do to get himself better as well as the team. In other words, how can the best carry the team to succeed. Other teams I feel like they have given the captaincy to the best player include the Anaheim Ducks; Calgary Flames; Chicago Blackhawks; Dallas Stars; Detroit Red Wings; Edmonton Oilers; Los Angeles Kings; Montreal Canadiens; New York Islanders; New York Rangers; Ottawa Senators; Philadelphia Flyers; Pittsburgh Penguins; San Jose Sharks; Tampa Bay Lightning; Vancouver Canucks; and Washington Capitals. And considering the fact the Toronto Maple Leafs and Carolina Hurricanes do not have captains , that is about half the league that is in this direction.
In Florida, the Panthers named center Derek MacKenzie the captain. The fourth line center takes over the captaincy after career ending injuries occurred to veteran defenseman Willie Mitchell. MacKenzie has played with Atlanta and Columbus in his career. Finnish winger Jussi Jokinen is an alternative captain, and the other alternative captain and who could be the next captain is defenseman Aaron Ekblad. With Mackenzie being the current captain, the veteran leadership and Undispited leader shows that the team is not letting the best be in the way at this point in time. Other teams that do not have their best players as their captain include the Arizona Coyotes; Boston Bruins; Buffalo Sabres; Colorado Avalanche; Columbus Blue Jackets; Florida Panthers; Minnesota Wild; Nashville Predators; New Jersey Devils; St. Louis Blues; and Winnipeg Jets.
This goes on to prove that now the best leads. But the question is, do you think they do so? Comment below. More to come...