The Captain! Who will lead their team to glory?

Will it be another North American captain? Or will we finally see the first European captain lead his team to the Cup?

TSN just released a good article on captains at:

Sakic is the longest serving captain. Sundin 2nd. There are now more captains from overseas than ever before, 10 in total. Who will be victorious? Yet another North American, or will the trend shift?Joe Sakic begins the new season as the NHL’s longest-serving captain.

The 37-year-old centre inherited the distinction when Steve Yzerman retired after 20 years in the role with the Detroit Red Wings. Sakic was named captain of the Quebec Nordiques in 1992, and he has continued to lead the team since it moved to Denver and became the Colorado Avalanche in 1995. Mats Sundin, captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs since 1997, has the second-longest tenure. Montreal’s Saku Koivu and Ottawa’s Daniel Alfredsson assumed the responsibility in 1999, Vancouver’s Markus Naslund has had the distinction since 2000, Edmonton made Jason Smith captain in 2001 and Calgary gave the C to Jarome Iginla in 2003.

Others continuing on in the captain’s role are Mike Modano in Dallas, Scott Niedermayer in Anaheim, Olli Jokinen in Florida, Shane Doan in Phoenix, Patrick Marleau in San Jose, Mattias Norstrom in Los Angeles, Scott Mellanby in Atlanta, Alexei Yashin of the Islanders, Dallas Drake in St. Louis, Adrian Aucoin in Chicago and Rod Brind’Amour of the Hurricanes.

Nine of the 30 teams will have new or no captains.

Centre Peter Forsberg takes over in Philadelphia from the retired Keith Primeau.

Adam Foote, is the new captain of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Luke Richardson was captain last year before being traded.

Defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom is expected to take over from Yzerman in Detroit. If not him then Zetterberg.

Star right-winger Jaromir Jagr is expected to be named captain of the New York Rangers.

Tim Taylor is the new captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Chris Clark takes over in Washington.

Nashville will name a new captain to replace Greg Johnson, who now is in Detroit, before the start of the season. Prime candidates are Paul Kariya, Kimmo Timonen and Steve Sullivan.

Boston hasn’t had a captain since Joe Thornton was traded last Nov. 30, and the Bruins have yet to make an announcement for this season.

New Jersey went without a captain last season and nobody has been tabbed for the C thus far.

The Minnesota Wild select a different captain each month.

Pittsburgh has decided it won’t have a captain.

Teen sensation Sidney Crosby will ascend to the post, but not quite yet.

They forgot Buffalo, where Briere and Drury are co-captains.

So there we have it.

16 Captains are N. American vs 10 from Overseas

13 Captains are Canadian [with one in the making]

Sakic, Smith, Iginla, Niedermayer, Doan, Marleau, Mellanby, Drake, Aucoin, Brind’Amour, Foote, Taylor, Briere, [Crosby].

3 Captains are American

Modano, Clark, Drury

6 Captains are Swedish

Sundin, Alfredsson, Naslund, Norstrom, Forsberg, Lidstrom/Zetterberg

2 Captains are Finnish

Koivu, Jokinen

1 Captain is Czech


1 Captain is Russian


Captains in-waiting

Crosby [CAN], Bergeron [CAN], Kariya [CAN]

If I had to guess from what country the next Cup winning team’s captain is from, I’d say either Canada (where we have dominated in the past) or else Sweden (who have some of the longest-serving captains and excellent players coming off an Olympic Gold), Naslund and the Canucks aside.

My vote is for a Canadian again.

48 Responses to The Captain! Who will lead their team to glory?

  1. Seedless says:

    All I can say is that IF there is a first Euro captain out of this group, I believe it would be most fitting if Forsberg or Lidstrom was the one.

    It has nothing to do with the teams they are on, or the chances they have of winning. As players and leaders, I would like to see one of those two.

  2. Air33 says:

    Fantasy question: Would you trade Nagy for Sykora and Nylander?

  3. gg_idiot says:

    My vote is for Yashin, he is a born leader and deserves the cup.

  4. muckies says:

    I don’t know if Yashin is the Captian anymore, is he?

    My bet is on Jerome Iginla or Jason Smith, the Cup will be in Canada this year, if not Alberta, Alfie will FINALLY break the trend and go down in history as the first non-NA Captain.

    If not Alfie, I’d say Forsberg or Jokinen have the best chance.

  5. FrankTheTank3388 says:

    Bergeron better not become captain, or he’ll become the next Joe Thornton. I personally see either Glen Murray or PJ Axelsson as the new Bruins captain, which would actually go along with your topic since Murray is Canadian and Axelsson is Swedish. But that’s not why’d I say to call them captains. Mainly because of their dedication to the B’s.

  6. avsrule24 says:

    Canadian hands down. I could realistically see Iginla, Niedermayer, Marleau, and Taylor winning the cup this year.

    The best shot for a Euro captain would be in my opinion, Jagr.

  7. bruinfan37 says:

    yes, no questions asked. Who knows if Nagy will be healthy, and I think Nylander and Sykora will put up great numbers. This is a no brainer if your weak at center too

  8. SkruinBruin says:

    Nice article. Being in New England, and being a Bruins fan,,, long before i was a “hockey” fan- i had the luxury of seeing captains like Terry O,Bucyk and Bourque. Each of those guys and many more, paid the long term NHL price, as well as playing for the same club price (win and more importantly lose). To live with the core of a team hard times builds character and determination. Remembering seeing it “slip away” (see Bruins vs. Canadiens- playoffs) creates another level to build off- and “wrile” up the stable.

    I read how Chara may be the next Captain of Boston. I only know of Chara from articles on here, other websites and newspapers. From what i’ve read, he seems like a machine- but its not the just the biggest and strongest “cog” that drives the device. I think the players should decide. This way there would be no question of who the leader is of any group of players.

    And Joe Thornton would still be in Black and Gold…

    I don’t want to see Bergeron have any distractions from “his” game…

    You know who should be captain of the Bruins??? Ask one!

  9. avsrule24 says:

    Bergeron is way different from Thornton, who’s just flat out a bad leader.

    After a while, maybe make Bergeron captain, but not right now.

    I agree about Glen Murray or PJ Axelsson.

  10. gg_idiot says:

    For Sykora? You’re kidding

  11. gg_idiot says:

    Alfredsson will never make history. Unless you watch the replay of Pominville’s break… Now thats some history!

  12. gg_idiot says:

    Tukka Rask should be captain of the Bruins

  13. BruMagnus says:

    Yes, because Nylander is a 1st liner who will get tons of points on the PP with Jagr, Straka, Prucha, Shannahan, Cullen, etc.

    Sykora is weak, but could have another breakout year.

    Nagy could get 90 points. Nylander is safe for 70.

  14. BruMagnus says:

    Well said. Although I hate the Flyers, and Detroit has won enough Cups.

  15. BruMagnus says:

    ’tis why I said captain’s-in-waiting

  16. BruMagnus says:

    ’tis why I said captain’s-in-waiting

  17. BruMagnus says:

    I remember what Mario did to Bourque, a couple times. 🙂

  18. BruMagnus says:

    I also like Brind’Amour. Staal a year older. Erik Cole back in the lineup. Conn Smythe winner Ward in his sophomore year though.

    Also Briere and the Sabres could be dangerous again.

    I sure as hell never see Sundin or Naslund leading their teams to Cups. Sundin cause his team is poor (I’ll give credit where it’s due, he did captain the Swedes to Gold, although Foppa was instrumental obviously) and Naslund cause he is poor, as is his team. I could see Jagr, but as I’ve said numerously, he’s never done anything in the playoffs without Mario. I’d love to see Koivu win a Cup, he’s got the heart of a captain, he’s just not 1st line material, which is irrelevant in the captaincy.

    I think Forsberg and Lidstrom are the best shots though.

  19. wingerxxx says:

    European captains take a lot of heat for not leading their team to the promised land. We all know about Sundin’s quest in Toronto. But he is, in my opinion, a solid captain. Any team in the league would absolutely love to have Mats Sundin.

    Lidstrom will make an excellent captain, and would be my safe bet for the first European captain to hoist the Stanley Cup. Sooner or later, it’s going to happen. If Forsberg can stay healthy, he would be my second pick, followed by Jagr. Those are three strong teams. Mathematically speaking, it’s probably going to be a North American captain again, but any given year, a European-led team can take it.

  20. wingerxxx says:

    Yashin will likely be the Isles captain until his contract expires. The Isles franchise is totally tied to Yashin, for better or worse.

  21. wingerxxx says:

    I’d do it. Nagy is pretty injury prone, and as long as Nylander plays with Jagr, he’ll pile on about 70-80 points per year. Getting Sykora in that deal as well, makes it a no brainer.

  22. BruMagnus says:

    When Yashin signed a 10 year contract with the Isladers he effectively became their Captain for that stretch. I don’t see any other captain on that team unless he voluntarily steps down or is somehow traded, maybe the Bruins would do it! I was going to say trade him to the Isladers, they’d do anything! But then I realized he is already an Islander! HAHAHA! Hey, where’s Luongo, Bertuzzi, Jokinen, McCabe, Redden, Chara, Schneider, Straka, Smolinkski?

    Sorry I have to recap some of these.

    New York Islanders traded Wendel Clark, Mathieu Schneider and D.J. Smith to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Darby Hendrickson, Sean Haggerty, Kenny Jonsson and 1st round selection (Roberto Luongo) in 1997.

    NYI traded Todd Bertuzzi, Bryan McCabe and 3rd round selection (Jarkko Ruutu) in 1998 to the Vancouver Canucks for Trevor Linden!!!

    [and I thought Naslund for Stojanov was bad!]

    Straka – Claimed by the Florida Panthers off waivers from the New York Islanders.

    [boy did Florida rape em]

    New York Islanders traded Darius Kasparaitis and Andreas Johansson to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Bryan Smolinski [whom they waste below]

    New York Islanders traded Zigmund Palffy, Bryan Smolinski, Marcel Cousineau and 4th round selection (previously acquired from the New Jersey Devils – Daniel Johansson) in 1999 to the Los Angeles Kings for Olli Jokinen, Josh Green, Mathieu Biron and 1st round selection (Taylor Pyatt) in 1999.

    then NYI traded Olli Jokien and Roberto Luongo to the Florida Panthers for Mark Parrish and Oleg Kvasha. great stuff

    Then they rid Kvasha for a 3rd rounder and Parrish (with Sopel!) for Denis Grebeshkov, Jeff Tambellini and a 3rd rounder… I mean my god!!

    Oh my god, I almost stopped, but look on, I forgot about Yashin!

    Ottawa Senators traded Alexei Yashin to the New York Islanders for Zdeno Chara, Bill Muckalt and 1st round selection (Jason Spezza) in 2001. HAHAHAHA

    I sure hope that’s all, as my heart can’t take anymore!

  23. BruMagnus says:

    Pittsburgh would not want Sundin.

    San Jose would not want Sundin.

    Detroit would not want Sundin.

    Buffalo would not want Sundin.

    Any team with two top-notch centers and/or salary cap issues and/or any common sense would not want Sundin.

    Half the teams in the NHL could not afford his ridiculous salary. There are much better deals out there. I had said it before last season started, then was the time to trade Sundin while he still had value, and when the Leafs were rebuilding.

  24. my_sphincter says:

    Absolutely not! Nagy is a star. The other 2 are glorified second liners.

  25. Hoondog2 says:

    You’re stupid

  26. Turnbull says:

    Are you joking??…Sundin would be an invaluable asset to any team. He’s one of the most consistent scorers of the past decade, he’s big, fast and his leadership alone would be reason enough for any team to want him. His salary is not ridiculous, and as a Bruins fan how can you talk about overpaid salaries!!?? (CHARA)!

  27. wingerxxx says:

    Um, ok, whatever you say. I’ll gladly stand by what I wrote.

  28. wingerxxx says:

    The 1997 Schneider trade actually wasn’t so bad. Schneider was just entering his flaky period, and Jonsson was a blessing for the Isles. Clark never seemed quite right, out of a Leafs jersey.

    Palffy and Smolinsky was a blatant salary dump. The other trades on that list, you’re right, are pretty bad.

  29. BruMagnus says:

    Fair enough, but if you look at how the trades intersect you see how poor they really are.

    Clark and Schneider begot Luongo.

    Kasparaitus begot Smolinksi.

    Palffy and Smolinksi begot Jokinen.

    Then Jokinen and Luongo begot CRAP!!!

    Or lose McCabe and Bertuzzi for Linden.

    Then trade Linden for Branislav Mezei!!


    You can see how the Isles wasted their trades. I like following the paths that trades go to. Like a draft pick thrown into a trade, who does it become? What does that person do? etc.

    Any Isles fan would have just cause to change teams. The late Potvin-era glory days aren’t returning.

  30. BruMagnus says:

    Ok, so if you are Pittsburgh, what do you do with Crosby, Malkin and Staal?

    Do you trade one for an ageing Sundin plus a bunch of crappy prospects and 4 straight 1st overall draft picks? doubtful. Sundin is on his way out.

    If you’re SJ, why trade Thornton or Marleau for Sundin?

    If you’re Detroit, same deal with Datsyuk and Lang (who in a similar case as Sundin, and let’s not forget two seasons ago he amost won the scoring race until his injury).

    I could see trading Drury for Sundin I guess. But salary is what’s important here!

    1) Exactly what would it take to get Sundin? Whatever it is probably isn’t worth giving up, UNLESS you’re in Carolina’s position last year, and are trying to win a Cup. Only then could I see making a move for Sundin to play on your third line, like Doug Weight did.

    2) How much longer is Sundin going to be any good? I will admit his 10 game spiel at the end of the season was impressive. But his trade value is only going to go down, down, down, into a burning ring of shit.

  31. cviper says:

    Your missing the point…….

    What there saying is that any team that could afford Sundin would gladly take him and any team that couldn’t, wishes they could.

    This is a hypitheticle comment and does not require ways the teams may get ahold of him.

    As for pitsburgh, Detroit and San Jose

    Don’t kid yourself, if by the trade deadline these teams are in a serious hunt for the cup and Sundin was ever available, they would definitly look into a trade for him(if he could fit under the cap). (could be upcoming draft picks not necessarily current players)

  32. wingerxxx says:

    Yeah. The basic gist of it, is IF your team could grab him, they would probably do it.

    Salary not withstanding, Sundin is one of the more complete European players out there, and Leafs fans should be grateful for his service over the years. When healthy, he’s still one of the top centers in the NHL.

  33. cviper says:

    I personally would love to see Sundin get his cup…

    That being said I think Ottawa and Alfredsson had their chance last year and for lack of better words, blew it.

    I would think Iginla has the best chance on that list to lift the cup this year out of the Canadians

    Drury out of the Americans

    Lindstrom out of the Swedish

    Jokinen for the finns

    and Jagr out of the remaining

    If I were to put some money down on a team this year I’d have to say Calgary. I am a leafs fan, but Calgary seems to have a bit of everything needed and are unquestionably solid between the pipes.

  34. BruMagnus says:

    And I’m saying hyopthetically, unless you want him to center your third line, ALA DOUG WEIGHT, if your team has two solid centers, YOU DONT NEED HIM, unless he were to convert to wing.

    So no, if any of the above teams were in the hunt, they would probably not go for Sundin, as they have two first-line centers already.

    I think even if I was doing a fantasy draft Sundin would not be that high up. Just as Koivu and Yashin aren’t anymore.

  35. BruMagnus says:

    When healthy he WAS one of the best centers in the league. Now I’m not so sure. He’s getting old. Can he be like Sakic? Or will he flounder? This will be a vital season for him and consqequently the Leafs.

    I’d rather have Boyes or Bergeron than Sundin.

  36. rileymac9 says:

    Yashins gonna lead the Islanderss all the way

  37. wingerxxx says:

    From watching him last year, his game really hasn’t tailed off. This is speaking objectively. I am NOT a Leafs fan. In terms of skill and skating, he’s still one of the very best in the league.

    He’s very good on draws, he is adequate defensively, and he makes his linemates better. Plus, he can play wing in a pinch. He’s been a consistent scorer for many years now. I don’t see him tailing off.

  38. UWSensFan says:

    I’d take him in an instant…he’s determined, leads by example and is, in my opinion, one of the better captains out there. He will put in the extra effort, and does it night in, night out.

    Sundin is a solid player that would make any (current) NHL team better.

  39. UWSensFan says:

    I didn’t know he gets more $$ if he wins the cup…does it effectively double his salary?

  40. BruMagnus says:

    Fair enough. I know he’ll get 70 points easy. 90 potential if he plays the full season and has some scoring wingers. But last I heard Wellwood may take a crack up there? My god they are in trouble.

    As it is, what would you GIVE UP in a trade to get Sundin? That’s what I want to know.

    Sure if you could have him for free, I’d take him. But what would be the return? Would Boston trade Bergeron for Sundin? Or Boyes? I doubt it.

  41. oldtimehockey says:

    And then garth snow will sign his to a 27 year contract.

  42. oldtimehockey says:

    And then garth snow will sign him to a 27 year contract.

  43. beckfan05 says:

    Yo, Yashin wasnt the awarded the captaincy when he was traded to the Islanders. Peca was……..

  44. TheFish12 says:

    Born Leaders do not desert their team for a raise…twice
    Nor do born leaders quit on their team when they make the playoffs (no pay during the playoffs and no production during the playoffs…coincidence?)
    Yashin is the farthest thing from a born leader, take it from someone who knows what its like to have him captain his team.

  45. mojo19 says:

    If he were available, and this is purely hypothetical – he could be the # 1 centre Calgary needs, and would be huge for Iginla. Of course the cap would complicate any trades between these teams.

  46. BruMagnus says:

    And you can remove one from America, the longest serving one in Mike Modano, and add another Canadian in Brenden Morrow, who has just been made captain.

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