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CBJ Captain woes: Part 2

The wait is over, no more withdrawal symptoms, palpitations, irritability, nervousness, or checking the Fire The Cannon blog hourly, here is the second part of my blog. Click here to read part 1

Before I go on I just want to throw out this disclaimer. In my previous article I wrote about the captain’s relationship with the other players, how he motivates them and what the other players think of him. Some of this comes from public statements, however most of it will come from what we don’t see. What happens in private practices, in the locker room and on the plane. So a lot of what I am about to write is quite a bit of speculation on my part.

Firstly and maybe this is a question I should have posed during the first article, is do we need to choose a captain ? For our last season, we did not have a captain and we turned around from a horrible start to finishing within one point of the play offs. Their is no immediate need to appoint a captain, certainly until January. After January we would probably wise to designate a captain for the play off run but we can cross that bridge when we come to it. Maybe it is time to let the beginning of the season play out and see what happens, give the coaching staff time to see who the natural leader in the locker room is and who the players listen to. The Buffalo Sabres are going with two captain system, one for home and one for away games. An interesting concept, and time will tell how it works out. It requires a close working amongst both captains to avoid undermining each other. Of course if you have no clear candidate that stands out as being worthy of being named sole captain are you going to be able to find two captains ?

That brings us on to whom we should appoint as captain. Some honourable mentions, Horton and Gaborik are probably some of the more skilled players on our team. However Gaborik has only been with the team a short while and thus in my humble opinion rules him out as a candidate for the roles of captain, besides he would be better left to concentrate on scoring goals. Horton again another highly skilled player, has not even played a game with the team and so is ruled out. Boll is the longest serving player on the team and his commitment to his team mates cannot be questioned. Whilst he has undertaken the alternate role for some of the games, and with no slight intended I don’t see Boll as being named as captain. R J Umberger is another long serving member of the team, and is the closest we have to a home town player, have studied at Ohio State and being one of the longer serving Jackets. However Umberger has struggled at the start of the last couple of seasons, I don’t know if Umberger will have the same struggles this season and that is not something you want in our captain

Having ruled some out, time to rule some in. In the short term I would suggest it is going to be either Jack Johnson or James Wisniewski. Both are dedicated players, both play hard, Johnson having achieved a Jackets record on ice time approaching 35 minutes last session, both have international experience, both are popular with the fans and are closely associated with the team. In the longer term Brandon Dubinski could also be another contender. Before the season started I would have said he does not have enough time with the team. Yet opinions change and that moment for me was the second goal against the Flames, even through he did not score the goal, he was at least leading the charge, he kept battling, whilst I don’t think it would be fair to appoint him captain just yet, come January it will be a different matter.

I guess time will tell ….

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