Why the Rush?

Jason Strudwick
August 07 2013 11:57AM

It has been a few years since the Edmonton Oilers have had to select a new captain. Shawn Horcoff was the obvious choice after Ethan Moreau left. He had been here his whole career and was at the right age to assume the captaincy.

An Easy Choice

When you consider the raw hand that Horcoff was dealt during his time as captain I think he did a pretty good job. He could not control the incredible number of injuries that hammered the team or the strength of the team compared to the rest of the league.

He played hard each night. I always was impressed by his commitment to conditioning. He is the type of player that understands how important spending time in the gym is during the season. When you are losing many players lose interest in doing the extra gym time that is required but his commitment to that was solid. It was a good thing for the newer players to witness.

Win or lose he was always there to stand in front of the media. He was well spoken and understood that as captain it is part of the job to give the media his time and sound bits. I wouldn't imagine it was always fun taking bullets for the rest of the team but that role comes with the "C".

After Moreau left the Oilers, picking a captain for the head coach was pretty easy. Tom Renney was the new head coach for the Oilers but he had been the associate coach under Pat Quinn the year before. He had intimate knowledge of what was going on inside the Oilers dressing room. He knew how each player worked, listened and could possibly lead. He had been studying and watching for a whole season.

A Hard Decision

With Horcoff having been traded this off season the Oilers need a new captain. I don't think it will be so easy this time for new Oiler head coach Dallas Eakins.

Eakins is a first time NHL head coach. He has done everything right to get to this point in his coaching career. He had great coaches when he was a player with many of them influencing his coaching style. He also has coached at different levels and in different roles to get to this point, coaching the Oilers.

But... he doesn't know any of the core players in the Oilers dressing room. They are all new to him. New Oilers GM Craig Mactavish has said the selection of the new captain will be left up to Eakins.

How do you walk into the NHL as a new coach and pick a captain before the season starts? You don't. I don't think Eakins should name a captain until he has had time to get to know his team.

Imagine walking into a room full of twenty five people you don't know and in two weeks having to select the leader of those people. Very tough.

If Eakins can turn this group of players into the type of team he talks about Eakins could be here in Edmonton for quite a few years. That means the captain he chooses will be his partner for those years as well. This is a decision that he wants to get right.

I know that the same assistants are coming back to support Eakins along with Keith Acton. They could give him their input but as the new coach do you want to base you choice for captain on someone else's opinion?

Why rush it?

An NHL captain should help his coach promote the style of play the coach is laying out for the team. The captain is a conduit between the players and the coaches. Is important that the coach trust his captain one hundred percent.

You can get to know a player/person through off ice meetings. I bet Eakins has met with some of the core players for the Oilers since his hiring. He wants to get to know them and them him before the season starts. But those types of meetings are always fun and easy in the summer.

After those types of meeting I expect Eakins to know Taylor Hall's goals for the season or Eberle's family story but he has no idea how those two or any of his players will react in a very tough game. Or how they will deal with a slump or injury. Or how they will react to a super-hot streak or someone else's hot streak.

These types of actual "in season" situations are impossible to replicate during the off season.

So I come back to the point of this whole article. How can a Eakins be expected to pick a the new captain for the Oilers when he doesn't know the type of captain this team needs or the type of people inside his locker room? He can't.

I think Eakins should announce the first day of camp that he will delay making his choice for captain. He should say he wants to study the group and the individuals so that he can make the right choice for the long term.

I would have no issue with the decision taking till Christmas or beyond. I played on a New York Ranger team that didn't have a captain all season. We all knew Jagr was the captain but he didn't want it on his jersey. We made the playoffs and the dressing room was a strong one.

The choice was so obvious there, it isn't as clear for the Oilers. Give it time Eakins, get it right. Don't rush a decision.

5cf6b487166aced0cd781e41bfef915e
Jason hosts the Jason Strudwick show from 9pm to 12am, weeknights on the team 1260. He is an instructor at Mount Carmel Hockey Academy and loves working with the kids. Having played over 650 games in the NHL, Jason has some great stories and unique takes on life in the NHL. He loves Slurpees and Blizzards. Dislikes baggy clothes and close talkers.
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#1 2004Z06
August 07 2013, 12:03PM
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I hope the Oilers do show some patience here. While I think Hall is likely, I don't think he is ready just yet.

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#2 D
August 07 2013, 12:05PM
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It's best to make a thoughtful decision on this matter rather than a rushed decision.

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#3 Darrell
August 07 2013, 12:08PM
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I think wearing the "A" is probably the safest route. The Captain and Coach are always the first to go around here while the side kicks keep their jobs without accountability.

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#4 marty62
August 07 2013, 12:10PM
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I think a few weeks is enough, especially around a team. hang around a team all day everyday for 2 weeks and you will know who the guys follow and look to for leadership. its not rocket science.

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#5 oldhippy
August 07 2013, 12:13PM
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How about a short term captain?

I think it would be a nice gesture to make Smyth the captain. We all know this will be his last season. He bled for the team. He gave up teeth for the team. He has taken tons of punishment for the team. It would show the young guys that commitment is valued by the Oilers.

Hall drove the bus last season, and if he repeats that performance in 2013/14, then he will be the guy in 2014.

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#6 The Soup Fascist
August 07 2013, 12:13PM
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Jason,

I appreciate you have lived through it and had no issue without a set captain in NYC, but anecdotally I seem to rememember a lot of bad teams with co-captains, rotating captains or three assistants - the Minnesota Wild under Jacques Lemaire come to mind as do a bad Buffalo Sabres team.

Some (can)knuckleheads even tried to make a goalie their captain!

The Oilers NEED to make the playoffs this year - or die trying. They cannot get off to a slow start. Would they not be better off making a Ference or Smid the captain with the understanding a year or two from now, one of the kids is going to wear the "C" - a'la Lee Fogolin?

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#7 The Soup Fascist
August 07 2013, 12:16PM
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oldhippy wrote:

How about a short term captain?

I think it would be a nice gesture to make Smyth the captain. We all know this will be his last season. He bled for the team. He gave up teeth for the team. He has taken tons of punishment for the team. It would show the young guys that commitment is valued by the Oilers.

Hall drove the bus last season, and if he repeats that performance in 2013/14, then he will be the guy in 2014.

Nice sentiment, but I am not sure a 4LW or press box Captain does anyone any favours. I think for Smyth to hope to be effective this year there are nights he needs to be eating popcorn in the pressbox.

Making Smyth captain complicates that decision.

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#8 spoils
August 07 2013, 12:16PM
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Waiting for the true Captain to emerge makes sense to me. I like Hall's raw talent but I think RNH has the higher IQ (in the traditional sense) and bigger long term upside. Not hearing a lot of talk about RNH.

Could Smythy be the Captain and cheat time in a final year? Give us the chance for the RNH v Hall v ??? leadership question to settle out.

That said, if Smythy ends up a healthy scratch...

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#9 Pucker - B class
August 07 2013, 12:16PM
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it's easy.

After they trade Hemsky, Omark and the rights to Roustalanin for Weber, Weber gets named captain.

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#10 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
August 07 2013, 12:17PM
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I'm still betting on Hall getting the call. He's got the give em hell attitude that this team desperately needs. In my opinion, a captain's gotta be someone who can carry the team on his back when they're dragging ass, and I don't know how many times the last couple years Hall has been the only Oiler to actually show up.

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#11 Action Jackson
August 07 2013, 12:18PM
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I think it will be a tough decision. I mean there is Hall....and...Hall...and Hall.

Unless you want to give it to Yaks (which would be aaaaaamazing) I think the choice is pretty clear even to an outsider.

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#12 Racki
August 07 2013, 12:21PM
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Jason, Million dollar question.. I know a lot of faces changed since you last played here, but who are your favorites to captain the team? Or if you'd say it.. Your #1 choice.

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#13 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
August 07 2013, 12:25PM
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spoils wrote:

Waiting for the true Captain to emerge makes sense to me. I like Hall's raw talent but I think RNH has the higher IQ (in the traditional sense) and bigger long term upside. Not hearing a lot of talk about RNH.

Could Smythy be the Captain and cheat time in a final year? Give us the chance for the RNH v Hall v ??? leadership question to settle out.

That said, if Smythy ends up a healthy scratch...

I think if you can toss around that last sentence without a ton of argument, you can safely take Smyth's name out of the running.

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#14 oldhippy
August 07 2013, 12:27PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

Nice sentiment, but I am not sure a 4LW or press box Captain does anyone any favours. I think for Smyth to hope to be effective this year there are nights he needs to be eating popcorn in the pressbox.

Making Smyth captain complicates that decision.

I hear you, but I think this is a special circumstance. I would certainly be happy if Smyth were to be in the press box in the second half of back to back games.

You know, it hasn't always been the most talented player on the team wearing the C. Foglin was a great captain, showing intensity and commitment, while being in the third pairing D. McTavish was the captain when he was 3C. Also not unheard of to have more than one Captain. If Smyth plays 70 games, the other 12 could be covered by the possible successors.

Nobody has really done Smyth's job in front of the net since he was traded away. I'd like to see him get some p/p time. Show the young guys how to battle. Unless Hall is named captain at the start of the season, whoever is named will only be temporary until Hall has reached an age where he will have the respect of veterans that are new to the team.

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#15 Spydyr
August 07 2013, 12:27PM
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spoils wrote:

Waiting for the true Captain to emerge makes sense to me. I like Hall's raw talent but I think RNH has the higher IQ (in the traditional sense) and bigger long term upside. Not hearing a lot of talk about RNH.

Could Smythy be the Captain and cheat time in a final year? Give us the chance for the RNH v Hall v ??? leadership question to settle out.

That said, if Smythy ends up a healthy scratch...

Don't you mean when Smyth ends up a healthy scratch?

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#16 Woogie63
August 07 2013, 12:35PM
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Since 2000 10 of the 12 Stanley Cup champs have been captained by a Hall of Fame type player. The recent cup winners have been Toews, Chara, who seem like they are bound for the hall. Not sure Rod Brind Amor or Dave Andreychuk (sp?) did enough to get into the hall.

So it seem obvious to win the cup you need a HOF captain. Or it could be plausable that if you captain a Stanley Cup winner or two you get into the HOF?

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#17 LinkfromHyrule
August 07 2013, 12:35PM
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I agree with this 100%. The impression I get from Eakins is that he understands this (I hope). I can see one of the kids getting the C, more than likely hall, but we will see.

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#18 csaw84
August 07 2013, 12:36PM
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You gotta think that Gagner might be in the mix. You can say all you want about his size, faceoff ability and offense, But he plays hard and has great character.

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#19 Sanaa Montana
August 07 2013, 12:39PM
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Smid, Ference, Eberle and Hall will all wear an A to start the season.

If Eakins decides to put a C on someone to start the season, in my opinion, it will be Ference. Due to the respect the Oilganization has for Smyth-I can't see that happening.

They will go with 4 As, and sometime during this season, or next year give the C to Hall.

I'm really hoping Smyth retires at the beggining on the season, I don't see his body or play surving the whole year with the Oilers. How much cap space would his retirement clear?

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#20 Dipstick
August 07 2013, 12:42PM
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Sanaa Montana wrote:

Smid, Ference, Eberle and Hall will all wear an A to start the season.

If Eakins decides to put a C on someone to start the season, in my opinion, it will be Ference. Due to the respect the Oilganization has for Smyth-I can't see that happening.

They will go with 4 As, and sometime during this season, or next year give the C to Hall.

I'm really hoping Smyth retires at the beggining on the season, I don't see his body or play surving the whole year with the Oilers. How much cap space would his retirement clear?

Smyth's contract counts even if he retires.

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#21 Cal Oatway
August 07 2013, 12:44PM
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Personally, I think the holder of the "C" should be the best player on the team as well a the person who displays top leadership qualities. When your one of the best on the team, you can expect the same from your team mates. As much as I like Horcoff and respect him as a "class act", its hard to lead when your on the third line and producing sub par results. you cannot expect 100% from others and expect others to follow, unless you lead by example. The Oilers have a few good candidates and for them to make the playoffs, they will need to be able to lead, hold accountability, kick ass and become the face of the team.

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#22 Sanaa Montana
August 07 2013, 12:46PM
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Darrell wrote:

I think wearing the "A" is probably the safest route. The Captain and Coach are always the first to go around here while the side kicks keep their jobs without accountability.

I'll use the words of Scott Storch and Timothy Mosley: cry me a river.

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#23 hags9k
August 07 2013, 12:48PM
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Sure, take your time coach as long as in the end it's Hall. :)

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#24 Sanaa Montana
August 07 2013, 12:49PM
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@Dipstick

Really? All of it?

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#25 Butters
August 07 2013, 12:53PM
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This team belongs to the kids now. They have the keys. Give one of them the 'C'(Hall) imho.

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#26 Dipstick
August 07 2013, 12:54PM
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@Sanaa Montana

I believe that all contracts signed by players over 35 are subject to that rule to prevent teams from backloading salary on contracts.

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#27 oldhippy
August 07 2013, 12:55PM
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@Woogie63

Do you see the Oilers winning the cup this year? I get that Toews is a talented player and a great captain. I get that Chara was a huge part of the Bruins cup win. The Oilers aren't there yet. Like I said about Fogolin, he wasn't the captain when the Oilers went to the Finals. He was an interim until Gretzky had the age and respect necessary.

And really guys, I know Smyth has lost a step and isn't the player he was. I know He will be a healthy scratch. I know he wouldn't be everyone's choice, but does he deserve the amount of derision he gets?

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#28 toprightcorner
August 07 2013, 12:55PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

Jason,

I appreciate you have lived through it and had no issue without a set captain in NYC, but anecdotally I seem to rememember a lot of bad teams with co-captains, rotating captains or three assistants - the Minnesota Wild under Jacques Lemaire come to mind as do a bad Buffalo Sabres team.

Some (can)knuckleheads even tried to make a goalie their captain!

The Oilers NEED to make the playoffs this year - or die trying. They cannot get off to a slow start. Would they not be better off making a Ference or Smid the captain with the understanding a year or two from now, one of the kids is going to wear the "C" - a'la Lee Fogolin?

I disagree with your thoughts on Minnesota or Buffalo as they always played far above their talent level and their success can only be measured by the talent the team had and the coaching system. A good captain does not instantly make a team successful.

With Minnesota, the team voted every month on who they felt showed the best leadership qualities over the past month and that is how they chose their captain. This builds multiple leaders who can all pick each other up and all feel responsible for leading the team to success. that's how team chemistry is built and how everyone gets on the same page. This methods have players rise to the challenge, not get rewarded because of on ice performance, fan popularity or cap hit. The players will follow who they believe in so who better than the player they voted in as the captain of the month.

A good captain can benefit a team but only to a certain level but a bad captain can destroy even the most talented of teams. This is a decision that should not be taken lightly and the longer Eakins waits to make that decision, the better.

Rotating captains could really give this team the unity it needs with so many new faces and could bring a lot more out of some players than expected. At the end of one season, the true leader will rise to the top and that person should be the captain, no matter what number is on his jersey.

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#29 Walter Sobchak
August 07 2013, 12:57PM
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You have to give your captaincy to best player!

The player who goes as your team goes.

Giving Eakins sole decision making for the Captiancy is not a smart plan here, nor is giving Smid or Ference the Captiancy.

First, Ference doesn't need to wear a letter to be a leader, nor does Smid.

As an orginization you want the face of your franchise to be the leader, the inspiration for your players, the fans and the community.

Hall has to be the Captian, it would be an orginization fail if he's not. Also the sooner the better.

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#30 Tikkanese
August 07 2013, 12:58PM
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I can't wait for Smyth to shut you idiots up. The lockout season was a bad season for many players not having to play with Belanger. Smyth had to deal with both things. Playing out of position at Center when Belanger was hurt didn't help matters at all either. Smyth is effective in front of the net and along the boards, not worrying about covering the entire ice and faceoffs.

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#31 The Soup Fascist
August 07 2013, 01:00PM
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toprightcorner wrote:

I disagree with your thoughts on Minnesota or Buffalo as they always played far above their talent level and their success can only be measured by the talent the team had and the coaching system. A good captain does not instantly make a team successful.

With Minnesota, the team voted every month on who they felt showed the best leadership qualities over the past month and that is how they chose their captain. This builds multiple leaders who can all pick each other up and all feel responsible for leading the team to success. that's how team chemistry is built and how everyone gets on the same page. This methods have players rise to the challenge, not get rewarded because of on ice performance, fan popularity or cap hit. The players will follow who they believe in so who better than the player they voted in as the captain of the month.

A good captain can benefit a team but only to a certain level but a bad captain can destroy even the most talented of teams. This is a decision that should not be taken lightly and the longer Eakins waits to make that decision, the better.

Rotating captains could really give this team the unity it needs with so many new faces and could bring a lot more out of some players than expected. At the end of one season, the true leader will rise to the top and that person should be the captain, no matter what number is on his jersey.

Agree to disagree. To paraphrase an old football axiom about quarterbacks .... If you have a bunch of captains ...... you don't have a captain.

To add: IIRC Lemaire actually selected the captain of the month, but I am not certain - you could be correct that it was a player vote. Either way, the captain of the month thing seems like something that would happen in Pee Wee House League, not the NHL.

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#32 Sanaa Montana
August 07 2013, 01:00PM
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Dipstick wrote:

I believe that all contracts signed by players over 35 are subject to that rule to prevent teams from backloading salary on contracts.

Oh, I thought you knew not believed what you were talking about.

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#33 Will
August 07 2013, 01:03PM
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Struds how important is the in room personality to gaining captaincy, and or being respected once it is gained? I ask because in terms of on ice give a crap, Hall seems to be the clear cut winner. In terms of off ice work ethic, again from what I've heard Hall is a cut above. In terms of wanting to win and demonstrating that every single shift, he also once again seems to lead here. I mean, the kid got his face stepped on and was on the bike seeing if he could return that freakin night. Finally, he is great with the media, always taking a loss on his shoulders, and dishing credit for a win to the rest of the team, all while holding himself and others accountable for any losses. It never seems okay to lose with Hall.

From all accounts, the only spots where he might be lacking are his communication with the Refs, and perhaps how he gels in the dressing room. That last one seems a bit strange since he's obviously good friends with Ebs, Nuge and J Schultz.

So my only question is what is holding Hall back from from getting the C?

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#34 Sanaa Montana
August 07 2013, 01:03PM
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Tikkanese wrote:

I can't wait for Smyth to shut you idiots up. The lockout season was a bad season for many players not having to play with Belanger. Smyth had to deal with both things. Playing out of position at Center when Belanger was hurt didn't help matters at all either. Smyth is effective in front of the net and along the boards, not worrying about covering the entire ice and faceoffs.

cool story bro

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#35 Dipstick
August 07 2013, 01:04PM
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@Sanaa Montana

Maybe someone who "knows" can confirm.

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#36 toprightcorner
August 07 2013, 01:05PM
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Cal Oatway wrote:

Personally, I think the holder of the "C" should be the best player on the team as well a the person who displays top leadership qualities. When your one of the best on the team, you can expect the same from your team mates. As much as I like Horcoff and respect him as a "class act", its hard to lead when your on the third line and producing sub par results. you cannot expect 100% from others and expect others to follow, unless you lead by example. The Oilers have a few good candidates and for them to make the playoffs, they will need to be able to lead, hold accountability, kick ass and become the face of the team.

Based on this theory, you think Kessel, Subban, Vanek, Flieschman, Gaborik and Bufeglien should all be captains of their team?

Do you think Brett Hull should have been captain of all of the teams he played for?

Best player had nothing to do with best leader.

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#37 Chaz
August 07 2013, 01:08PM
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spoils wrote:

Waiting for the true Captain to emerge makes sense to me. I like Hall's raw talent but I think RNH has the higher IQ (in the traditional sense) and bigger long term upside. Not hearing a lot of talk about RNH.

Could Smythy be the Captain and cheat time in a final year? Give us the chance for the RNH v Hall v ??? leadership question to settle out.

That said, if Smythy ends up a healthy scratch...

Good point on RNH. If he emerges as an elite player as I think he might this year giving the C to Hall might prove to be premature in hindsight.

I'd say someone like Ference would be ideal as a short-term solution as we wait for one of the kids to emerge as the captain of the future. Won a cup and has been to the finals twice in the last three years. Would be great to have someone who knows what it takes to win as the C for now. Seems to have the right personality for it for what I can see.

As far as Smytty goes, that ship has sailed. Can't have someone fighting to stay in the lineup as your Captain.

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#38 Sanaa Montana
August 07 2013, 01:10PM
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Dipstick wrote:

Maybe someone who "knows" can confirm.

Maybe.

Not that I'm saying that your beliefs are wrong, but, I believe that paying full amount, and being capped for, the player that is no longer in play-is kind of silly and stupid at best.

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#39 Spydyr
August 07 2013, 01:11PM
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Tikkanese wrote:

I can't wait for Smyth to shut you idiots up. The lockout season was a bad season for many players not having to play with Belanger. Smyth had to deal with both things. Playing out of position at Center when Belanger was hurt didn't help matters at all either. Smyth is effective in front of the net and along the boards, not worrying about covering the entire ice and faceoffs.

Is it 2006 again. No? Smyth is washed, done, over ,caput.

Sad to watch a once awesome player stay too long.

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#40 Sanaa Montana
August 07 2013, 01:12PM
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Chaz wrote:

Good point on RNH. If he emerges as an elite player as I think he might this year giving the C to Hall might prove to be premature in hindsight.

I'd say someone like Ference would be ideal as a short-term solution as we wait for one of the kids to emerge as the captain of the future. Won a cup and has been to the finals twice in the last three years. Would be great to have someone who knows what it takes to win as the C for now. Seems to have the right personality for it for what I can see.

As far as Smytty goes, that ship has sailed. Can't have someone fighting to stay in the lineup as your Captain.

If we're going to wait on RNH, we might as well wait on Yakupov as well. No?

If timid little RNH is to be considered, then Yakupov deserve a chance too.

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#41 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
August 07 2013, 01:17PM
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oldhippy wrote:

Do you see the Oilers winning the cup this year? I get that Toews is a talented player and a great captain. I get that Chara was a huge part of the Bruins cup win. The Oilers aren't there yet. Like I said about Fogolin, he wasn't the captain when the Oilers went to the Finals. He was an interim until Gretzky had the age and respect necessary.

And really guys, I know Smyth has lost a step and isn't the player he was. I know He will be a healthy scratch. I know he wouldn't be everyone's choice, but does he deserve the amount of derision he gets?

My comment wasn't intended to be disrespectful to Ryan Smyth, I'm just trying to be realistic when it comes to what he's currently able to contribute.

Smyth deserves all the accolades the team can throw at him once he retires, but sitting your team captain in the pressbox is embarrassing.

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#42 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
August 07 2013, 01:22PM
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toprightcorner wrote:

Based on this theory, you think Kessel, Subban, Vanek, Flieschman, Gaborik and Bufeglien should all be captains of their team?

Do you think Brett Hull should have been captain of all of the teams he played for?

Best player had nothing to do with best leader.

Byfuglien is far from the best player on the Jets. Andrew Ladd was 19th in league scoring last season, so he doesn't fit with the rest of your argument (which - for the record - I agree with).

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#43 Lochenzo
August 07 2013, 01:23PM
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That's a great way to build consensus in the locker room. Give it a couple of months into the season, I think the players in the room will know who is most deserving and accept the choice of captain.

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#44 vetinari
August 07 2013, 01:30PM
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I would think that Eakins could easily wait until Christmas or New Year's to name a captain, and go with 3 or 4 AC's in the interim (maybe pair a youngster with a hardworking vet and rotate them around until January-- like Hall and Ference take home games and Eberle and Smid take road games?). Eakins can approach it like an audition for the captain's chair. If one of the kids is ready for the captaincy, then name them on January 1st. If the kids aren't ready for it yet or the team is in the basement again, then name a vet who can handle the load in an interim basis.

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#45 oldhippy
August 07 2013, 01:33PM
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@Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

I realize you weren't bashing. That was aimed at all the crap the guy takes from a certain type of fan.

My point is, not always is the most talented or the most dominant player, necessarily your captain. When Mario was in and out of the line-up, did they take away his captaincy. Captains are going to be injured, miss games. At one time the primary job of the captain was the coaches voice on the ice, talk to ref's. Now it seems the captains job is not to be an embarrassment when fans talk to their friends in Calgary/Vancouver. Screw what fans of other teams think.

I'll be cool with whoever is chosen but, Hall has yet to establish himself as the guy who can hoist this team on his shoulder. RNH could yet become that guy. I would be happier with a one year captain and see who the dominant guy is by seasons end. What happens if Hall is made captain to start the season and he slumps from last seasons obvious jump?

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#46 Will
August 07 2013, 01:36PM
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In favour of making Hall Captain, just look at the the various failures and successes around the league. Crosby, mixed since they really haven't repeated the cup and for the last two years in the playoffs the Pens just seem lost on the leadership front.

Toews, huge success. Captain serious is the leader on that team surrounded by a solid core who pushes him, and vice versa.

Stamkos, mixed since the guy is far and away the best player on and off the ice, but that team has such a hard time with success. I think it's a good example of how skill and work ethic will only take a captain and its team so far.

Giroux, success. Even though they haven't won the cup with him at the helm, he commands a rather young core by matching up and dominating other young captains int he league. The kid is a flat out warrior.

Tavaras, success. They built a franchise around this kid and are slowly riding him to more success than a team like the Islanders deserve on paper. This is who most closely resembles Hall.

Landeskog, no idea yet. He just got it and could help the Avalanche crawl out of the basement.

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#47 WhattaMike
August 07 2013, 01:36PM
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IMO, the best player while combined with being the leadership type guy the team needs in the dressing room should be the next captain of the Oilers.

About Taylor Hall....he is now 21 yrs old and will be turning 22 just after when the season starts (Nov). This will be his 4th season in the NHL and he has now been thru part of the Oilers bad yrs. For Taylor...He wants this "bad" ended now!!!! - and I like this.

As for accountability for himself and team ... he speaks his mind/opinions graciously and openly in public/to media...which is excellent. As well,...they (media and many scouts primarily) all now pretty much say and agree upon that Hall is a beast on the ice. He is a deserved new rising NHL all-star. He finished in the top ten in scoring this last yr and therefore... also lead his team as well.

He previously lead his Windsor Spitfires to two consecutive winning memorial cups thru both skills/talent and belief in himself/team.

Look just back even at when during the memorial cup rounds when Hamonic grossly pasted him into the boards and then Taylor rose (slowly) then very quickly scored a high-light reel goal. It was Inspiring and Awesome!

I have seen Hall lead on the ice already for the Oilers... with either his play or even his looks and type conversing on the bench with others. I saw him quite correctly (as a type winner)question Tom Renney on a stupid pulled goaltender situation.

By all I wrote...I completely support...that Taylor Hall absolutely is the right next captain for the Edmonton Oilers and it is the right time to give it to him. We have seen worse captains on the Oil such as Shayne Corson (example) and Hall is far better than that.

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#48 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
August 07 2013, 01:39PM
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@WhattaMike

Couldn't have said it better myself

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#49 Ducey
August 07 2013, 01:42PM
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There is a decent chance Ference will be the "C" by the end of the preseason.

He is a vet, has played on a few different teams (and therefore has experience with different groups), has 113 games in the playoffs and has a ring. He also will be around for 4 years due to his contract.

Of course, I have no idea what he is like, but on paper he would be the best choice.

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#50 Archaeologuy
August 07 2013, 01:46PM
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Jason, who do you think this team will think of as the Captain even if he doesnt have the C on his chest?

Hall, Gagner, Eberle, Ference?

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