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NHL Power Rankings: Players Who Could Be Wearing the "C" for Every NHL Team

Brad LeClairCorrespondent IJune 26, 2011

NHL Power Rankings: Players Who Could Be Wearing the "C" for Every NHL Team

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    As we head into the offseason, we take a look at some new look teams and some teams that could be need of a face-lift. One possible way of doing this is by naming a new captain for your team.

    In this slideshow, we will take a look at all 30 NHL teams and whether a captain change should be in order. Hypothetically, if one isn't needed, I'll suggest another player who can easily be the team captain if their captain was dealt. (See Mike Richards recently)

    So without further interruption, here we go.

Anaheim Ducks

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    Anaheim Ducks

    Captain: Ryan Getzlaf

    Who Could/Should Be Wearing the "C": Corey Perry

    With the current age of both Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu, I don't think it would be right to name either a team captain. I really like what Ryan Getzlaf does for the Ducks, however, if another captain was to be named, I think that title easily goes to Corey Perry.

    Perry, the Hart Trophy winner, leads by example on the ice, even though he's not exactly the most vocal person out there. He's tough, stands up for his teammates and can do almost anything on the ice, except for maybe win a skating contest.

Boston Bruins

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    Boston Bruins

    Captain: Zdeno Chara

    Who Could/Should Be Wearing the "C": Patrice Bergeron

    Patrice Bergeron is quite possibly one of the best two-way forwards in the game, and much like the Ducks' Corey Perry, isn't the most vocal player on the team. He also leads by example. Another option could be naming Tim Thomas captain, but we all know how that turned out for the Canucks when they named Roberto Luongo captain.

Buffalo Sabres

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    Buffalo Sabres

    Captain: Vacant

    Who Could/Should Be Wearing the "C": Derek Roy

    One of the most annoying players in the NHL to play against, Derek Roy has earned himself a reputation as one of the players you hate to play against. He embellishes, dives and usually drives opposing teams nuts.

    But aside from that, he leads his team on the ice like a captain should. He is always out there giving it his all and, to no surprise, I think is deserving of the title.

Calgary Flames

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    Calgary Flames

    Captain: Jarome Iginla

    Who Could/Should Be Wearing the "C": Mark Giordano

    Jarome Iginla is the captain of all captains. He's the foundation you build captains from. He's the definition of a team captain.

    However, if he was ever dealt, a player I would select as his replacement is Toronto native Mark Giordano. Giordano persevered through hard times in his career and eventually made it to the NHL and has become their best overall defenceman, after spending years as depth defender, or in the elite leagues in Europe.

Carolina Hurricanes

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    Carolina Hurricanes

    Captain: Eric Staal

    Who Could/Should Be Wearing the "C": Brandon Sutter

    At the ripe old age of 21, Brandon Sutter is already an alternate captain. That says something about his maturity and ability to lead a team at such a young age. Will he ever be a team captain with Eric Staal around though? Doubtful.

    Doubtful because Staal, much like Iginla of the Calgary Flames, is a good example of what a captain should be. Sutter's a great option to have as back-up though.

Chicago Blackhawks

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    Chicago Blackhawks

    Captain: Jonathan Toews

    Who Could/Should Be Wearing the "C": Duncan Keith

    It seems like a broken record, but even at the young age of 23, Jonathan Toews is another great example of what a team captain should be. Luckily for the Blackhawks, they are a veteran-filled team and have enough players around Toews to help him in the process.

    One of those players is Duncan Keith, who in my opinion, will eventually be a team captain some day. He is one of those multi-use defenseman. He's out there in all situations, and can be relied upon at any point in the game. One of the best in the game.

Colorado Avalanche

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    Colorado Avalanche

    Captain: Vacant

    Who Could/Should Be Wearing the "C": Gabriel Landeskog

    One of my first off the wall projections, but not really in a few years. Right now, the Avalanche don't have a team captain, however, they may have just drafted their future team captain.

    Gabriel Landeskog's game has been compared to Mike Richards's and Peter Forsberg's. He's tough, doesn't back down from anyone, and plays in all situations. If not for an ankle injury at the World Juniors, he likely would've lead the Swedish team to the gold medal game against Canada, but because of the injury, the Swedes just didn't have enough fire power to get past the Russians, who eventually stunned Canada in the championship game.

    In three to five years, look for Landeskog to be the team captain.

Columbus Blue Jackets

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    Columbus Blue Jackets

    Captain: Rick Nash

    Who Could/Should Be Wearing the "C": Ethan Moreau

    Although he's only been with the organization a few years, Ethan Moreau is one of the better character captains in the NHL. His presence is still missed in the Edmonton locker room, in fact. Moreau may not wow you offensively, but his play defensively and character in the dressing room is not measurable.

Dallas Stars

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    Dallas Stars

    Captain: Brendan Morrow

    Who Could/Should Be Wearing the "C": Stephane Robidas

    Brendan Morrow is again one of those good all around players. He can score, hit, fight, block shots, the whole gamut. However, there may be one player on the team better at hitting and blocking shots, and that is Stephane Robidas.

    Robidas ranks up there with Luke Schenn and Brett Clark when it comes to blocked shots, and up there still in hits. His veteran experience and calmness on the ice gives him the edge if there was to be a change in captains.

Detroit Red Wings

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    Detroit Red Wings

    Captain: Nicklas Lidstrom

    Who Could/Should Be Wearing the "C": Pavel Datsyuk

    Eventually, one day, much like Mark Recchi, Nicklas Lidstrom will be retiring. Who will replace him? I'll answer that and say Pavel Datsyuk.

    He's the silent assassin. A very quiet but electric player who leads by what he does on the ice and not what he says in the locker room. Datsyuk is one of the most consistent players in the NHL, and captains are often looked at as the franchise's model of consistency, if that makes any sense.

Edmonton Oilers

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    Edmonton Oilers

    Captain: Shawn Horcoff

    Who Could/Should Be Wearing the "C": Ryan Smyth

    Just acquired for fourth line center Colin Fraser and a seventh-round pick in 2012, Ryan Smyth will likely close his career out with the team he enjoyed his most success with, the Edmonton Oilers. Smyth should easily be the inspirational leader on the team, and likely will be named an assistant captain, if not the captain.

    Captain Canada is back and is doused in oil; time for him to finish his career off on a high note.

Florida Panthers

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    Florida Panthers

    Captain: Vacant

    Who Could/Should Be Wearing the "C": Stephen Weiss

    He's been with the organization nearly the longest, and he is usually a pretty dependable player. The question is whether he can handle the pressure of being the captain and a first line center all in one year. For the young Panthers, they'll likely still be without a captain next year, but Weiss is my choice if there were to name one.

Los Angeles Kings

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    Los Angeles Kings

    Captain: Dustin Brown

    Who Could/Should Be Wearing the "C": Mike Richards

    Questions regarding Mike Richards arose after the Flyers traded him. Is he really captain material? They just signed the guy to a long-term contract, why trade him? The answer is they felt Brayden Schenn was a cheaper, more long-term option for the cap-strapped Flyers.

    It took Paul Holmgren some major testicular fortitude to pull both deals off, as Richards took his talents to Hollywood.

    Richards was the captain of the Flyers and eventually, in time, will garner attention to be the captain in Los Angeles. How long that will be will be up to how Richards gets along with his teammates and how they respond to him.

Minnesota Wild

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    Minnesota Wild

    Captain: Mikko Koivu

    Who Could/Should Be Wearing the "C": Cal Clutterbuck

    With John Madden likely gone, the Wild will likely name another alternate captain. My best guess is that would be the NHL hits leader Cal Clutterbuck.

    The energetic and hard-hitting winger has a large following in the land of 10,000 lakes, and his playing style is what got him a spot on the Canadian world championship team. It seems the legend of Clutterbuck is growing, could it grow into a captaincy down the road?

Montreal Canadiens

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    Montreal Canadiens

    Captain: Brian Gionta

    Who Could/Should Be Wearing the "C": PK Subban

    Quite possibly the player that gets under the skin of most NHLers, rookie PK Subban strutted around like a seasoned pro. He talked trash, he walked the walk, and ended up finishing his rookie year off with 14 goals and over 124 penalty minutes.

    Despite what other players think of him, nearly all the Canadiens love the guy and he has future captain written all over him, as long as his head doesn't grow as big as Ken Griffey Jr.'s when he overdosed on nerve tonic (Simpsons episode: "Homer at the Bat").

Nashville Predators

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    Nashville Predators

    Captain: Shea Weber

    Who Could/Should Be Wearing the "C": Mike Fisher

    Well, this captain likely won't be going anywhere anytime soon, as it's expected restricted free agent Shea Weber will likely resign a large deal with the Predators and stay in Music City USA. If for some reason he loses his captaincy, look for Mike Fisher to get a long look as the team's new captain. However, I doubt that will ever happen.

New Jersey Devils

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    New Jersey Devils

    Captain: Vacant

    Who Could/Should Be Wearing the "C": Zach Parise

    Another one of those quiet, but deadly, players that leads by example. A good guy and a great player, Zach Parise will only get better, both as a player and as a leader. He's great in the community and hopefully at some point they name him captain.

New York Islanders

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    New York Islanders

    Captain: Vacant   

    Who Could/Should Be Wearing the "C": Mark Streit

    Thought I was going John Tavares, didn't you? Well, here Johnny T still has a few things to learn about leading a team before I give him the "C". Streit is the more veteran player on the backend, and he is another quiet, but unassuming leader. Tavares will likely be the captain in a few years, but for now, that title will likely go to Streit, if they ever name a captain before then.

New York Rangers

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    New York Rangers

    Captain: Chris Drury

    Who Could/Should Be Wearing the "C": Brandon Dubinsky

    I like to think of Brandon Dubinsky as a poor man's version of Mike Richards. He's not quite as offensively potent, and not quite as defensively efficient, but the effort and skill is still there. He's a restricted free agent this offseason, and I believe the Rangers will resign the center to a long-term deal, if Sather and company want to still have jobs for the upcoming hockey season.

Ottawa Senators

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    Ottawa Senators

    Captain: Daniel Alfredsson

    Who Could/Should Be Wearing the "C":Chris Phillips

    After an eventful trade deadline, Chris Phillips decided to sign a three-year deal with the Senators and remain with the rebuilding club through 2014. With Daniel Alfredsson nearing retirement, and possible trade bait, Phillips in my opinion is his likely successor in the Canadian capital. How soon that will be is anyone's guess.

Philadelphia Flyers

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    Philadelphia Flyers

    Captain: Vacant

    Who Could/Should Be Wearing the "C": Chris Pronger

    This one is fairly easy. After the trading of Mike Richards to Los Angeles, Chris Pronger will likely be named captain. However, due to his age and likely retirement in four years or so, look for recently acquired center Brayden Schenn to possibly be the captain in five years or so. I'm not going out on a limb here, but just stating the obvious.

Phoenix Coyotes

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    Phoenix Coyotes

    Captain: Shane Doan

    Who Could/Should Be Wearing the "C": Keith Yandle

    With Ed Jovanovski likely leaving this offseason, and Ray Whitney nearing retirement (when have we heard that before?), look for the Coyotes to have a new batch of alternate captains this year. One returning alternate will be defenseman Keith Yandle.

    Yandle has elevated himself into top-10 status for defenders in the NHL, and his ability to lead a stingy defence in Phoenix is almost legendary. How he, Shane Doan and Ilya Bryzgalov led the Coyotes to a playoff berth is anyone's guess, but Yandle, to me, could be the captain if Doan ever left town (and not because the franchise relocated).

Pittsburgh Penguins

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    Pittsburgh Penguins

    Captain: Sidney Crosby

    Who Could/Should Be Wearing the "C": Jordan Staal

    Another one of those generational talents, and generational captains, Sidney Crosby will not lose his captaincy in Pittsburgh unless he either passes away, is traded like Wayne Gretzky, or the stitches fall out and the "C" falls off randomly. Crosby is the captain of the Penguins no question, but if there's a good alternate out there, Jordan Staal would be it to replace the Wizard of Croz.

St. Louis Blues

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    St. Louis Blues

    Captain: Vacant

    Who Could/Should Be Wearing the "C": David Backes

    Another young team, like the Islanders, without a captain, look for the Blues to eventually named David Backes team captain. The 6'3" 225-pound power forward is a load to deal with anywhere on the ice. He's got good hands, good wheels, and can chuck the knuckles on top of that.

    Any 30-goal scorers and 100-plus penalty minutes guys don't grow on trees, and the Blues have already locked him up long term. He would be a great choice to be the next captain of the team.

San Jose Sharks

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    San Jose Sharks

    Captain: Joe Thornton

    Who Could/Should Be Wearing the "C": Ryane Clowe

    "Jumbo Joe", as he is affectionately known by his teammates, finally shed the label of a playoff choker this past season. He led the Sharks to a Conference Final berth but eventually got beat by Ryan Kesler and the Vancouver Canucks.

    Thornton has had an up-and-down tenure as captain, actually losing the title to Patrick Marleau for a while. Personally though, I think Ryane Clowe would've been the better choice if you were to replace Thornton.

Tampa Bay Lightning

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    Tampa Bay Lightning

    Captain: Vinny Lecavalier

    Who Could/Should Be Wearing the "C": Steven Stamkos

    Another pretty obvious choice as successor to Lecavalier, Steven Stamkos, one of the most deadly snipers in the NHL, will take over as captain down the road. I doubt very much many teams will take on a contract like Lecavalier's, but with the new cap figures in, anything is possible, and a team could take on extra salary, even if it's until the end of time.

Toronto Maple Leafs

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    Toronto Maple Leafs

    Captain: Dion Phaneuf

    Who Could/Should Be Wearing the "C": Luke Schenn

    This one is tough to really concede. Phaneuf is the vocal leader of the Leafs, he's the leader of the defensive core and he's one of the more experienced defenders on the team.

    However, if I were to name a player in the future, Luke Schenn would be it. If Phaneuf were never acquired, my personal belief is that Schenn was going to be named the captain this season. However, with Phaneuf here, he may have to settle for alternate for the time being.

Vancouver Canucks

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    Vancouver Canucks

    Captain: Henrik Sedin

    Who Could/Should Be Wearing the "C": Ryan Kesler

    After a pretty normal and boring showing during this year's Stanley Cup run, and a real inability to get past Zdeno Chara, Henrik Sedin's days as captain of the Canucks could be dwindling. Ryan Kesler's dominant performance through most of the playoffs really opened some eyes in the Canucks organization.

    But like Sedin, he also struggled with finding a way past Zdeno Chara, like most of the NHL does.

Washington Capitals

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    Washington Capitals

    Captain: Alex Ovechkin

    Who Could/Should Be Wearing the "C": John Carlson

    Like Sidney Crosby, "Ovie" is the inspirational leader of the Washington Capitals. If you're down by one, you give the puck to him and he'll carry your team to victory.

    Ovechkin is another generational talent, and sure fire Hall-of-Famer. Ovechkin will be the captain of the Capitals for as long as he wants the title. If I were to guess someone good for the title, though, I'd give it to John Carlson after his performance this year, and last year guiding the Americans to World Juniors Gold in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Winnipeg Jets

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    Winnipeg Jets

    Captain: Andrew Ladd

    Who Could/Should Be Wearing the "C": Dustin Byfuglien

    I was just about to write Andrew Ladd, captain of the Atlanta Thrashers, but I stopped myself. I then proceeded to write it anyways.

    Ladd was named the captain last season before the club really realized what it had in Dustin Byfuglien. There's a chance he could be named the captain of the Jets, but in all likelihood, Ladd will remain the captain despite what some people may think.

    Ladd last season enjoyed career highs in goals and points, playing on the top line in Atlanta. In Chicago, he was a third liner, but the former fourth overall selection and Maple Ridge BC native, proved his worth this past season with the Thrashers. Hopefully this season, he can lead the Jets to a playoff berth.

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