Being a captain in the sport of hockey is one of the greatest honors at any level of play. In the NHL, a captain takes on an even greater role.
This position does not require that you are your team's best player, only that you are worthy and capable of leading. Responsibilities include keeping the team focused yet loose, working to clear any issues in the room both with players and coaches, and representing the team on and off the ice.
While there are captains in other sports, NHL captaincy has influenced other leagues. In recent years, both the NFL and MLB have made on-jersey captain's logos more prominent.
The idea was presented to me recently to rank all of the NHL captains. My first thought was, "well that should be easy for the teams that don't have one...then what?"
After giving it some thought, I came up with this list. What I've done is ranked the captains based on a few categories: career accomplishments, what he means to his team, and league-wide perception.
Without a doubt, you will disagree with at least one player's placement on the list. You are more than welcome to let me know why in the comments.
Because I have respect for any NHL captain, I have done my best to avoid dwelling on shortcomings of these players. After all, if an NHL dressing room respects these guys, then we should too.