With the unfortunate news that Philadelphia Flyers defenseman and captain Chris Pronger has been lost for the season due to post-concussion syndrome, the Flyers find themselves with a gaping leadership void.
Pronger was officially named team captain during the fall of 2011, though he has pretty much been the de facto captain since joining the team in the summer of 2009.
Now that Pronger is out of the lineup for the rest of the season and playoffs, the Flyers need a captain.
Until the 2002 season the Flyers' alternate captain would assume the captain's role any time he was scratched. Brad Marsh would wear the "C" when Dave Poulin missed games. Rod Brind'Amour routinely wore the "C" when Kevin Dineen and later Eric Lindros missed games.
When Keith Primeau was similarly felled with a concussion early in the 2005-06 campaign the Flyers were left captainless for months.
Ken Hitchcock had immediately approached Simon Gagne about replacing Primeau on an interim basis, but Gagne balked, citing it would be disrespectful to the injured captain.
However, missing a captain turned out to be a big deal for that team, and by the time Derian Hatcher was named as Primeau's replacement, the ill effects had begun to show.
Now that we know for a fact Pronger will not play for the Flyers until October 2012 at the earliest, the Flyers should name a team captain for the remainder of the season.
While there is no way to replace a Chris Pronger, the player or the captain, here are five players who could assume the captaincy role in his absence.