On Monday, the New York Islanders named 22-year-old John Tavares the 14th captain in franchise history. It was an unsurprising move, as Tavares is the face of the franchise, leading the team in scoring in each of his first four years.
Tavares becomes one of the youngest captains in the league on a team with a lot of pressure to follow up its first playoff appearance in six years with a strong season. But how does his task stack up against other captains across the NHL?
Captains are inevitably held to a higher standard by the media—expected to speak after every game, whether a great win or a tough loss. Fans expect more out of captains, with every team failure frequently seen as a failure of leadership. Captains communicate with the referees on the ice, acting as a go-between for the referees and the team. Captains are also relied upon to be mediators between the coaching staff and the rest of the players, communicating team messages and setting an example.
Here are the 10 captains facing the most difficult roads ahead in the 2013-14 season, starting with number 10.