It seems as if the rest of the Islanders season will conclude without any player donning the heralded "C" over their heart. It's very possible that head coach Scott Gordon will appoint one of the current roster players the captaincy, but with only 12 games remaining, I have a feeling that Gordon is going to see which of his players seem fit to handle the responsibility at the start of next season.
One player who immediately comes to mind is Mark Streit. What can't you say about this guy? He's by far the best skater on the Islanders roster with 15 goals, 37 assists, and 52 points in 65 games played. This is Norris Trophy material. Whether or not he wins the award, he should definitely be considered since he is playing for a team that sits at the bottom of the standings and has battled injury upon injury. Billy Jaffe mentioned him as a possible captain as well, stating that he's becoming more vocal in the locker room and on the ice with the team. So far he's shown that he's the complete package on the blue line; a player that can be relied on in a two-way fashion on a nightly basis. That warrants lots of recognition, and I'm sure he's on Scott Gordon's list.
The most likely candidate would probably be Doug Weight. He's a vocal leader, team player, and someone who has been around the game for a very long time. Whether or not he becomes captain initially depends on whether or not he is re-signed by the Islanders. I have a gut feeling that Garth Snow will bring him back for at least one more year as long as he wants to stay, and remaining with the team at the trade deadline was something Doug seemed HEAVILY in favor of.
Or will Scott Gordon head in a different direction?
Is it possible we can see someone like Kyle Okposo wear the "C"? He has emerged as a leader and team player amongst the younger crowd in the locker room and has been putting up solid numbers over the second half of the season. However, hitting him with that much responsibility at such a fragile time in his career may be too much for him to handle. Personally, I think it would be unwise. But Gordon said this team is for the kids to take...did he mean that all the way up to the captaincy?
One player that may eventually wear that letter is Josh Bailey. He's still years away from being the player we all expect him to be, but he's shown in his OHL career that he is a natural leader. After his team lost one of their teammates due to an unfortunate death, he managed to step up his play and score almost a point per game for the rest of the year. If that doesn't characterize leadership I don't know what does, and I know that this had a lot to do with why they chose him at last year's draft.
There are several options next year for the captaincy, and one of them could be an outside source found in free agency like Bill Guerin was two years ago.
Who would you want to see as captain?