That is one of the reasons why there are eight NHL captaincy vacancies as the 2013-14 season approaches. It also creates noticeable space for someone else to fill in virtually any debate surrounding those who sport a “C” over the heart of their jersey.
While there are only 22 of them at the moment, an easy majority of the NHL’s incumbent captains could contend for a share of the “most respected” pie. They are the players who may or may not be of celestial status, but who nonetheless inspire their teammates with their compete level and, even if they do carry a superior skill set, demonstrate a willingness to do grunt work.
They are also the ones whose all-out effort radiates the most when a key achievement or an extension of the season is at stake.
With special emphasis on fresh (i.e. one or two-year-old) input from those who share a dressing room and bench with them, here are the NHL’s 10 most respected current captains.