Two new NHL team captains, Henrik Zetterberg of the Detroit Red Wings and Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers, were each formally introduced on Tuesday. They will join Gabriel Landeskog of Colorado and the yet-to-be-named new leaders of Columbus, Florida and New Jersey among the league’s first-year captains in the 2012-13.
Until their captaincies have lasted for at least a handful of games, it is only fair to withhold evaluations of those players’ leadership performances. The 24 returning captains, though, have had anywhere between seven and 10 months of waiting to pick up where they left off with their respective teams.
Some of the incumbent captains ought to be pursuing improvement for themselves and/or their teams. Others are seeking enhancement of a sturdy foundation while at least one would just as soon ensure that nothing changes.
Based on a combination of the state of their teams and their influence on that state, here is a bottom-to-top ranking of the NHL’s captains from 2011-12 who are back for more in this shorter 2012-13 campaign.