Rico Rates Canada's Captains!

It’s not a case of who is the best and who is the worst, it’s a personal preference really but who do you think is the best captain in Canada?

I’m going to rate them based on my personal preference and get a discussion going.

1) Mats Sundin:

Sundin plays in what is really the center of the NHL Universe (I’m a Habs fan and have to say this). There isn’t a place in Toronto you can go where you won’t see a Leafs jersey, flag or sign showing support for the Leafs.

He may not be the player who possesses the best leadership skills on the team (gary roberts) but he is the face of the Leafs, has led the team in scoring an unholy amount of times and carries the pressure of being the Captain of Canada’s team very well, always gives great interviews to the media and does some wonderful charity work. Plus Sundin will wear the C for Sweden this year during the World Cup.

2) Saku Koivu:

Koivu, like Sundin plays in a hockey mad city, and carries the added pressure of playing in hockeys only Bilingual market, and his play in the playoffs shows that he is definately the heart and soul of his team. He plays like he is 8 feet tall and will pull unorthodox moves (scrapping with teamates in practice for example) to shake the team up.

The Big Line also showed that with the right linemates Koivu can be one of the most exciting players in the NHL to watch, the only thing keeping Koivu in my eyes from being the best captain on Canadian soil is his injury plagued past..which he seems to be turning a corner towards avoiding injuries.

Koivu like Sundin will also wear the C for Finland this year in the World Cup.

3) Jarome Iginla:

Iggy showed in his first season as the captain of the Flames that he has a strong leadership side to go along with his flashy play on the ice. There are a few other NHL players who do as much charity work as Jarome and he is by far the most popular player in his city (and possibly in Canada).

He’s a charming player who always flashes a great smile for the media and seems like one of those guys who would hold up the team bus so he can sign an autograph for every kid waiting. A true test of Iggy’s leadership skills will come durign the world cup this fall..if he has an A on his jersey which most of us agree he should.

4) Daniel Alfredsson:

Alfie is lucky in the fact that he replaced a player who wore the C but was by far not the most popular player in the city he was playing in, but by quarterbacking the powerplay and being one of the greatest charactors the NHL has right now (who doesn’t love that hair??) Alfie shows that he is an Ottawa Senator and that he loves the city he plays in.

He’s one of the few players who took what would most likely be alot less then he could make on the UFA market so he could stay in a city he loves and retire as a Senator, though maybe this year he should stay away from making bold promises like Mark Messier.

5)Jason Smith

I live in Eastern Ontario so I don’t get to see very many Oilers games during the regular season, but Smith is a very good Captain for a young team. He is a hard nosed player and seem’s like he is a great team player.

I am really surprised though that Ryan Smyth hasn’t earned the right to wear the C in Edmonton yet on a full time basis. If Smyth gets the C in a year or two Edmonton passes the Senators for the fourth best captain in Canada.

6) Markus Naslund:

Like the Oilers I don’t get to see very many Canucks games during the regular season.

Naslund is a great NHL player, and perhaps having great leaders like Trevor Linden on the team makes him a great leader…I’m not sure.

One stellar moment that showed his Captaincy was before the night of the Bertuzzi/Moore incident when Naslund urged his team to not go for revenge for the “questionable hit” that left Naslund with a concussion but that two points would be the best form of revenge. A pretty impressive statement to be made by someone who was injured.

That’s my two cents.

145 Responses to Rico Rates Canada's Captains!

  1. nordiques100 says:

    what does fighting have to do with being a good captain? Yzerman doesnt fight, Gretzky didnt either, Sakic doesnt drop the gloves. does that make them poor captains if they dont fight? does this mean that they were not able to pick their team up or inspire them in any way?? you dont have to do that to be a good leader. these 3 guys are probably 3 of the best leaders and captains ever yet fighting wasnt their cup of tea but you people seem to imply that fighting is a huge thing and important for a leader to do and that is what puts iginla at the top of the list.

    Sorry for all you Iginla fans but he needs more than one season and one playoff to be considered the best captain in canada.

  2. TheCoach says:

    They have both taken their teams to the same level. Therefore they are in the same class as leaders.

    Both of them have not managed to win when leading very talented teams. I don’t know how you can continue to dispute this.

    ” I can say sundin is a better leader and player than alfredsson. if you dont believe it then look at the fact that sundin has at least been able to lead his team to victory when they are head to head and he has done it 4 times in a row.”

    So wait a minute. Since Sundin is a better leader than Alfie because he has managed to lead T.O over Ottawa, is Alfredsson a better leader than Keith Primeau because he has managed to lead Ottawa over Philadelphia every time tey play in the playoffs. But wait, then Primeau would be a better leader than Sundin, Alfredsson would be a better leader than Primeau, but Sundin would still be a better leader than Alfredsson? Doesn’t make much sense, does it?

  3. TheCoach says:

    Wait a minute. Alfredsson has also led Ottawa to the playoffs 8 times. More evidence that shows that they are in the same class as leaders.

  4. TheCoach says:

    But you see, Iginla has led his team somewhere in the playoffs whereas the other captains have all failed to do so.

  5. nordiques100 says:

    still didnt win so that makes him just like everyone else then

  6. TheCoach says:

    Your rational supports my argument. You say that Sundin is a better captain because he has lead Toronto to the playoffs 7 times. Yet Ottawa has been to the dance 8 straight times and you still say that Sundin is a better captain than Alfredsson. All the evidence shows that they are on par.

  7. nordiques100 says:

    if alfie cannot even lead his team to just one win over the leafs then that makes him not much of a leader at all. there is no way then he can be put into the same category as sundin. and if you are going to go out and say “yes we will win the cup” and you are supposedly the leader, then you have to go out and do it, not lose to the suck the bag leafs every single year.

    see and sundin is a good leader as his teammates rallied around his absence and won a few series without him as they wanted to do it for him to get back and play. alfie’s teammates should have rallied around their captain’s statement of we will win, that is of course if he was a good leader but he isnt so that is why the sens faded away as usual against the maple laughs.

    and it wasnt hard to beat the flyers as they somehow happened to have a goalie even worse than lalime in cechmanek playing for them. and yeah the flyers beat the leafs, but ANYONE can beat the leafs unless it is alfredsson and the sens.

    we have seen sundin have big playoff games and deliver, we have seen primeau do that too but we have NEVER seen alfredsson play one good playoff game as captain.

  8. nordiques100 says:

    the most important fact remains that most of the league’s best captains play for US teams like yzerman, primeau, sakic, lemieux, stevens, messier.

  9. nordiques100 says:

    he wasnt captain for all 8 times as Yashin was captain for a few of them

  10. nordiques100 says:

    i agree that perhaps eventually iginla will move to the number one spot, unless of course the flames turn into the next mighty ducks or hurricanes. he needs 2 more good playoff runs and then he may end up being near the top of the list for the whole league if he can play like he did last year every year.

    but fighting is not needed to be a great captain as proven by yzerman, lemieux, gretzky and sakic. it is a unique asset but not needed and not a big part of what makes up a good captain.

  11. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    First of all Ed Belfour was probabley drunk you know he had alcohal problems. Also I wouldn’t want to talk to Dom either. He is a jack ass.

    Second of all. Domi never said this and if by some miracle the guy who reads almost every Toronto news paper every day. And wakes up at 6 to watch TSN and Sportsnet Ontario befor school starts missed this he was prolly joking. Domi kids about stupid things all the time.

    And finnally Quinn was right the time he mentioned that because Clarck said the refs like Toronto the refs started turning in Philadelphia’s favour. BTW the refs ussually favour the Sens. I watch sens games all the time and it always seams they are favoured no matter which team they are playing.

  12. PayUpSucka says:

    Damn straight!!!!!

  13. PayUpSucka says:

    clap clap clap. Indeed.

  14. PayUpSucka says:

    You’re right.

  15. habs_punk says:

    surprise, the first person to rate koivu this low is a leafs fan. way overrated? only good because he came back from cancer? dude, he’s fought back and played through so many injuries. he led the playoffs in points for two rounds. he’s twice brought about a huge upset to get to the second round. he leads his team when it counts. the playoffs are always when koivu shows why he is the captain. he has to deal with the pressures of being the captain in montreal, which is just as much if not more pressure than toronto. think about it, when was the last time anyone was able to last this long as montreal’s captain without asking for a trade?

    well ***** you and here’s my list

    1. iginla – shouldnt need any explanation

    2. koivu – reasons above

    3. naslund – super consistent, puts the points up

    4. smith – does everything for his team. i love those guys that take a puck to the face and go off to get stitches and dont even miss a shift

    5. alfredsson – disappears in the playoffs

    distant 6th. sundin – he plays for the leafs

  16. habs_punk says:

    i said something like that about smith too, the guy is amazing, i saw that when he took the shot to the teeth and came right back out. that is hockey

  17. habs_punk says:

    what about guys like bobby orr or rocket richard?

    i know for a fact orr wasnt afraid to drop the gloves.

    i unfortunately never got to see richard play, but i hear the stories, i see the pictures, and it reminds me so much of what iginla is like. the intense drive to win, to score goals. iginla is definately the best captain in canada right now.

  18. TheCoach says:

    He said it after the game. He was chuckling because I think he meant it as a joke, but Shelley did not find it funny.

    “I watch sens games all the time and it always seams they are favoured no matter which team they are playing.”

    Ummm, ok. You must be listening to a little bit too much of Pat Quinn.

    “Also I wouldn’t want to talk to Dom either. He is a jack ass. “

    How do you know? You’ve never met him. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him at a function, and he’s a very nice and down to earth guy.

  19. habs_punk says:

    unfortunately… but they are all Canadian.

  20. TheCoach says:

    By your logic, Keith Primeau is not a good captain because he could not lead the Flyers to one measly series win against Ottawa. I think he is an excellent captain, but he has been invisible during ever single game that they have played the Sens.

    Look at it this way. In the past three years Daniel Alfredsson has led Ottawa to a first round defeat, a second round defeat and a 3rd round defeat. Sundin has done the same. No better and no worse.

    I think they are both good captains, but neither one has done anything to prove that they are better than eachother. The more you try to prove that they have, the more ridiculous you look.

    I don’t care if Sundin scores more goals in the 3rd period, or if Alfredsson has outscored him in the past 2 years. The bottom line is playoff series wins. That is why guys like Stevens, Yzerman and Sakic are the elite captains, while Sundin and Alfredsson are in the same boat.

  21. greengiant says:

    First off, someone has to say it: This thread is *****ing retarded. None of us have probably ever been in even one of those dressing rooms, let alone all of them. We might as well argue which Canadian NHL team goalie has the biggest *****. Unless you’ve sucked them all of or some shit, you don’t *****ing know.

  22. nordiques100 says:

    my logic says that if you are to be even considered a decent leader then you have to give what your team needs the most and do it when the team needs you most and polling many sens fans, god knows they want to put away the leafs more than anything else, i say as much as they want a championship. but as we can obviously see they have failed every time. why is that? poor goaltending? perhaps, but also a big mouth so called captain saying “yes we will win the cup” only to come up with a poor showing yet again against the leafs.

    primeau doesnt make foolhardy guarantees, primeau doesnt do nothing in the playoffs, neither does sundin for that matter. see like i said they have in the playoffs come up with huge games at key times and delivered, although tehy have not yet delivered the big prize. alfredsson has not done anything at all in the playoffs including winning a cup. he completely disappears and does absolutely nothing but make a fool out of himself shaking hands and heading for the links after saying they will win the cup, saying they will beat the leafs in game 7.

    they are all in the same boat in that none of them have won anything, that is why you say alfie and sundin and even naslund are the same. but then all the canadian captains are the same as NONE of them have won anything. including iginla.

    so the purpose of this original post was to see which one was the best. considering none of them have any championship you have to look at all the other factors. we can see that the sens and leafs have had similar playoff success each making it to the third round but it came down to the leafs beating the sens every time. if alfredsson was a good captain he should have been leading his team to victory every time against the leafs and anyone else for that matter. but he failed to do so. sundin has outplayed him and beat him every single time. also, sundin has had some individual success in the playoffs whether against the sens or not, moreso than alfredsson.

    see my point is that since none of alfredsson or sundin or the rest of the captains in canada or primeau have won a cup, seeing how koivu has been a big game player, iginla has been one in his brief playoff career, primeau definitely has and sundin has as well they are all better captains than alfredsson because alfredsson has had no good games at all in the playoffs. he has been able to be the guy to so called “win” a game for his team.

    hockey is a team game and if you want to consider the leafs, flyers, sens to be elite, they are also equally talented and equally unsuccessful. so again you have to remove that factor out of the equation and look at everything individually. looking at certain games, every game they ahve played come playoff time and see how they fared. it is obvious to even sens fans that sundin has had better playoff games and had bigger playoff performances that alfredsson has.

    this is why i think sundin is better.

  23. d0rd says:

    I fully agree with the 2 previous comments.

    but also, those three forwards from tampa bay that you mention didn’t come out of nowhere for just this years playoffs.

    “Like Richards for example, before the playoffs few people even recognized him”

    Are you serious? 4 straight seasons of 60+ points on a team with several natural high scorers. While St. Louis took the art ross this past season, it was the season before that that everyone will acknowledge was his breakout year. Lecavalier will have a huge year soon enough, but he’s put up decent numbers during his career.

    And regarding Nash? Who else is going to score for Columbus??? (I’m not saying he’s a bad player, i actually think he’s a great player, and deserves all the praise he gets, which is quite a bit, so i really have no idea what the heck you’re writing about)

  24. EmptyNetter says:

    And four of the six Canadian teams are captained by Euros!

  25. TheCoach says:

    Wouldn’t that make Sundin just like Alfredsson?

  26. DarkPhoenix says:

    Oh, BTW, if Alfredsson and Naslund are superior captains, why is Sundin the captain of Team Sweden whenever he plays?

  27. DarkPhoenix says:

    Wow, hey, that must explain why the Leafs haven’t won since 1967! We have to move them out of Toronto and change their name, then we can win!

    …In case you haven’t been paying attention, I’m being sarcatic. Putting down Sundin for playing for Toronto is a lame-ass thing to do.

    And when I see players fighting each other in practice, I don’t consider the team captain to be very good. I don’t consider either Koivu or Naslund to be very good captains because it seems to me that the players on the team don’t follow them.

  28. DarkPhoenix says:

    Actually, Jason Smith was traded away by Mike Smith, in the year of the 4 headed monster.

  29. EmptyNetter says:

    As for Koivu’s fight with Ribiero, how many young players with their first taste of success suddenly develop a case of “big head” and think they’re bigger than the team? I think it’s the sign of a good leader, not a bad one, that he got in Ribiero’s face. I never heard a full accounting of what caused the fight, I assume because Koivu didn’t want the whole issue being aired out in the media. Besides, has Koivu had fights with any other Habs players lately?

    I agree about Naslund, though.

  30. Havlat_hasit says:

    I didn’t even bother to read your horse shit. Alfie has a greater upside then Sundin because he’s younger, cheaper and over all a better player. This leaf prpoganda is disgusting. How is Sundin a great captain, he doesn’t have the repore that Alfie has with his players. Sundin has other people to deal with the team dynamic.

    Does this mean Sundin is Primeau’s *****?

  31. cgolding says:

    but fighting is not needed to be a great captain as proven by yzerman, lemieux, gretzky and sakic. it is a unique asset but not needed and not a big part of what makes up a good captain.

    i agree… but if you are able to do all the other things that those guys bring to the table PLUS are willing to man-up for your team and yourself… that’s huge for team morale. the simple fact that Iginla doesn’t put teammates in a situation where THEY need to protect him is really what i’m referencing, and what i think is so unique and special about him… especially in the modern NHL where that is a true rarity.

    as you said though, not a necessity or a requirement of a good captain.

  32. TheCoach says:

    You cannot say that Alfredsson is a better captain than Sundin, but you also cannot say that Sundin is a better captain than Alfie. They have both led their team to the Conference Finals, and numerous other early playoff exits. Who cares who scores more 3rd period goals or who is the better all-around player, the job of a captain is to lead his team as far as they can go. Sundin and Alfredsson have led their respective teams to the exact same spot.

  33. crisco says:

    You are so full of shit,

    younger?? By 2 months

  34. PayUpSucka says:

    Bitter sens fans man. Must suck to be the leafs bi tch.

  35. nordiques100 says:

    what repore??? is that why they lay down for dead every single time they face the leafs??? is that because they are sick and tired of their stupid captain running his mouth and saying shit he knows will never come true????

    believe me if i had a choice for the captaincy for the sens i would give it to chara as he seems to always come up with huge performances come playoff time. he really is the big impact player and he seems to be more and more taking on a leadership role with the team. he doesnt run his mouth, he has actually scored huge goals for his team (remember game 6 where he sent it to OT?) and too bad he has too many teammates who fade in teh playoffs like alfredsson and especially havlat as he couldnt handle roberts, sundin, mogilny, nieuwendyk and others all by himself otherwise the cup would have been theirs by now. instead you have a captain who runs his mouth, makes promises and then doesnt deliver at all and just is NOT a good playoff performer.

    alfredsson is in no way better than sundin. if you want to argue like the coach has and say he is on par then i can respect that but if you are going to come up with crap that says alfie has more potential, a better all round player than you dont know anything about hockey.

    and the only reason he is cheaper is because he isnt worth big bucks. especially since he has had zero good playoff performances. at least sundin has had some pretty good games in the playoffs.

  36. TheCoach says:

    Alfredsson has actually had many good games. In a series where they beat the Devils, he scored 2 hat tricks in 6 games.

  37. Havlat_hasit says:

    you keep pointing to series’ against the leafs by saying “they law down for dead” thats the biggest load of shit. Last season they went to game 7 with the sens dominating the entire series, and it wasn’t Alfie who let the team down it was Lalime. Two years before that the two teams met again in a game 7 with the sens dominating the play yet again but the boarding call on Pearson gave the leafs a power play with only minutes left.

    You cant keep pointing at their inability to beat the leafs, when they can beat philly two years in a row and came back against Jersey 3 to 1 in the conference final.

    youre using an absurd form of logic, Sundin has accomplished less than alfie as a team captain. If he’s as great as people say he could motivate that group of old codgers to finally win a cup. With the amount of money spent they shouldn’t even need a captain. Alfie is doing a better job with less developed players, and he doesn’t miss games.

    I live in the heart of leaf country and no one ever expects the leafs to win the cup, everyone may want it but deep down they know there destined for another playoff loss. That message isn’t echoed in Ottawa.

  38. PayUpSucka says:

    0 for 4 bro.

    Our captain is also the Swedish captian too, Danny boy isn’t.

    Even his own countrymen who the better captain.. Alfie shouldn’t even be the captain of the sens with real leaders like Redden and Chara there.

    Sundin is 2 times the captain. Your boy is terrible come June. 27 goals in 70 games and a career minus 3. 2 career playoff goals against Toronto in 4 series. Numbers don’t lie.

    When the city of Ottawa was looking for at least 1 series win against the leafs this guy was nowhere to be found, and Sundin, well he’s got 5 game winners against your boys in the playoffs.

    All Alf’s got is a bunch of broken promises and his nutz in your mouth.

  39. habs_punk says:

    my reasons for putting sundin last is just as legit as the dude that put koivu last.

  40. bpanther83 says:

    Never would happen…EVen at the all star game…u watch the interview with Alfi and Sundin…they wouldn’t even look at each other…

  41. bpanther83 says:

    no cause EVERY YEAR they play each other in the playoffs Toronto Kicks out Ottawa…so Sundin’s TEam beats Alfies.

  42. bpanther83 says:

    no cause EVERY YEAR they play each other in the playoffs Toronto Kicks out Ottawa…so Sundin’s TEam beats Alfies.

  43. DarkPhoenix says:

    You say Sundin is a terrible captain because he captains Toronto.

    He says Koivu is an overrated captain because he came back from cancer.

    Wow, I totally don’t see your point here. Your proof is nonsensical and biased. His is not.

  44. TheCoach says:

    Alfie’s team always beats Keith Primeau’s team. Does that make Alfredsson a better captain than Primeau.

  45. nordiques100 says:

    the sens were shut out 3 times in the series and in the 4 losses they scored a combined one goal. was that lalime’s fault? no. the leafs won 3 games 2-0 and if alfredsson could score a goal or two maybe they win the series well before game 7. who is paid to score goals? alfredsson. who guaranteed a game 7 victory but played like crap. alfredsson. who runs the PP that got shutout in those losses? alfredsson. if tehy dominated the series then why did alfredsson only have 1 goal in 7 games if he is so great???

    yes beat philly but beat cechmanek the worst technical goalie in hockey. and yes came back against the devils but still lost the series.

    there was that much talked about team meeting that sundin called after a loss in edmonton last year that led the leafs on a 16 game point streak. every player on the team pointed to that and all the papers across canada wrote about it and how it was sundin who led the charge. so please dont say he doesnt motivate his team because this shows certainly that he does. and he has not motivated his team to win the big prize but has alfie??? no. and if alfredsson is doing a better job than sundin then how come the results are the same? early playoff exits. and sure he doesnt miss games but he certainly doesnt show up for the big ones either. he may be in uniform but usually he is invisible when it is on the line.

    that message isnt echoed in ottawa because they have no chance at a cup when their captain demoralizes his team by guaranteeing wins and contstantly losing to the hapless never win leafs.

    alfredsson is a good player but not as good as sundin.

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