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.
Avatar
#1 Pucker - B class
August 07 2013, 12:16PM
Trash it!
65
trashes
Cheers
16
cheers

it's easy.

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

Avatar
#2 oldhippy
August 07 2013, 12:13PM
Trash it!
43
trashes
Cheers
41
cheers

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.

Avatar
#3 Darrell
August 07 2013, 12:08PM
Trash it!
33
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

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.

Avatar
#4 marty62
August 07 2013, 12:10PM
Trash it!
26
trashes
Cheers
16
cheers

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.

Avatar
#5 The Soup Fascist
August 07 2013, 12:13PM
Trash it!
26
trashes
Cheers
11
cheers

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?

Avatar
#6 spoils
August 07 2013, 12:16PM
Trash it!
25
trashes
Cheers
12
cheers

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...

Avatar
#7 2004Z06
August 07 2013, 12:03PM
Trash it!
21
trashes
Cheers
32
cheers

I hope the Oilers do show some patience here. While I think Hall is likely, I don't think he is ready just yet.

Avatar
#8 csaw84
August 07 2013, 12:36PM
Trash it!
18
trashes
Cheers
34
cheers

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.

Avatar
#9 Tikkanese
August 07 2013, 12:58PM
Trash it!
18
trashes
Cheers
15
cheers

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.

Avatar
#10 Sanaa Montana
August 07 2013, 01:03PM
Trash it!
18
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers
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

Avatar
#11 Woogie63
August 07 2013, 12:35PM
Trash it!
16
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

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?

Avatar
#12 The Soup Fascist
August 07 2013, 12:16PM
Trash it!
15
trashes
Cheers
19
cheers
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.

Avatar
#13 Sanaa Montana
August 07 2013, 01:00PM
Trash it!
15
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
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.

Avatar
#14 D
August 07 2013, 12:05PM
Trash it!
14
trashes
Cheers
25
cheers

It's best to make a thoughtful decision on this matter rather than a rushed decision.

Avatar
#15 Action Jackson
August 07 2013, 12:18PM
Trash it!
14
trashes
Cheers
34
cheers

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.

Avatar
#16 Walter Sobchak
August 07 2013, 12:57PM
Trash it!
14
trashes
Cheers
11
cheers

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.

Avatar
#17 russ99
August 07 2013, 03:30PM
Trash it!
14
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

Ference is my guy for the "C".

He's a leader, has experience of how a team gets from where the Oilers are now to cup contention and has a ring.

Avatar
#18 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
August 07 2013, 12:17PM
Trash it!
13
trashes
Cheers
39
cheers

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.

Avatar
#19 Sanaa Montana
August 07 2013, 12:39PM
Trash it!
13
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers

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?

Avatar
#20 Sanaa Montana
August 07 2013, 01:12PM
Trash it!
13
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers
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.

Avatar
#21 Spydyr
August 07 2013, 01:11PM
Trash it!
12
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers
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.

Avatar
#22 The_CWD_GarbageMan
August 07 2013, 03:01PM
Trash it!
12
trashes
Cheers
8
cheers

My vote is for Gags. Listening to Gags speak he is very engaging because of this unforgettable wisdom which he possess. Considering he is only 6 months older than Eberle, it appears he conducts his personal life as if he was a medical student as opposed to a beer tub girl.

The entire dressing room has missed having that 'movie star' in the group that everyone looks up to off the ice (since the departure of Souray or Stoll). Gags is not that movie star that Stollie/Souray was to the boys, but to Hall, Ebs, RNH,and Yak, Gags is kind of the old grandfather they look to for that swagger and wisdom. He is still very young, that movie start leader ideally would be in their late 20's, but beggars can't be choosers.

Avatar
#23 Spydyr
August 07 2013, 12:27PM
Trash it!
11
trashes
Cheers
11
cheers
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?

Avatar
#24 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
August 07 2013, 12:25PM
Trash it!
10
trashes
Cheers
9
cheers
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.

Avatar
#25 oldhippy
August 07 2013, 12:27PM
Trash it!
10
trashes
Cheers
8
cheers
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.

Avatar
#26 WhattaMike
August 07 2013, 04:48PM
Trash it!
10
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

In post #47, I wrote a fair bit on why Taylor Hall should be the next captain of the Oilers...and i still stand by that post with my reasoning and my opinions. With regards to those who are stating that one of Smyth or Ference should be a type temp captain, I ask why to do this when... it is Hall who will be leading this team forward by performance and talent and will-power like as he should be?

Fact: It is an entire new era with the Oilers right now...a new GM, a new coach, and now - a new captain..and it's not a total rebuild still or a blast from the past regime either.

Smyth would be but just an honorary named captain at this stage and... with this surely being his last yr on the Oilers, him being named would stunt the year for the Oilers again (no disrepsect meant to him). It should have been Smyth being named the captain awhile ago when Moreau was let go but it did not happen then...nor should this happen now.

Ference, being a possible other good choice... did not grow with this teamn or lose with this team these past few years and also, he comes at the near end of his career...so this would also stunt the dressing room growth of the team in some ways.

These two players are of excellent calibre to be leaders but their time to be captain is gone. Taylor is here for the next 6 yrs plus and it is his time to speak, to show, and to lead...now!!! My support reasons are some that are listed back in post #47.

Ference and Smyth know they don't need the C or the A to show their near career ending leadership abilities and for the guys they are...they are already fully respected in the room always...

Avatar
#27 Sanaa Montana
August 07 2013, 12:49PM
Trash it!
9
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Dipstick

Really? All of it?

Avatar
#28 Chaz
August 07 2013, 01:08PM
Trash it!
9
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers
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.

Avatar
#29 Ron Burgundy
August 07 2013, 02:00PM
Trash it!
9
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers
Sanaa Montana wrote:

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.

I believe that 60 km/hr is a stupidly slow speed to drive on a residential street; that don't mean it's not the law.

The CBA says that if a player signs a contract after the age of 35, but retires before the term is over, his full cap hit continues to apply for the remainder of the term of the contract. Mr. Smyth signed when he was 36 (I believe).

Avatar
#30 Racki
August 07 2013, 12:21PM
Trash it!
8
trashes
Cheers
10
cheers

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.

Avatar
#31 FastOil
August 07 2013, 09:30PM
Trash it!
8
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Thanks Struds. After reading, Ryan Smyth should be interim captain. No one else has the Oiler cred. Someone else should prove and step up through the season.

Avatar
#32 Sanaa Montana
August 07 2013, 12:46PM
Trash it!
7
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers
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.

Avatar
#33 toprightcorner
August 07 2013, 12:55PM
Trash it!
7
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers
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.

Avatar
#34 Sanaa Montana
August 07 2013, 01:10PM
Trash it!
7
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
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.

Avatar
#35 Ron Burgundy
August 07 2013, 01:47PM
Trash it!
7
trashes
Cheers
8
cheers
csaw84 wrote:

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.

He is also a good candidate to perfectly fit the recent(ish) trend of us running our captain out of town once we have fastened goat horns to his head...

I know its August 7 and there's nothing else to talk about, but from a fans perspective I'm not sure why any of us care. Isn't the C more of an honorary thing? I mean, leaders are leaders regardless of the letter on their sweater, and stuff goes on in the dressing room we will never know about. Example - when Gretz was Captain do you think nobody listened to Messier?

The room will figure it out regardless of who Eakins picks, or when. And in that case I'd like to look back at the list of captains of the Oilers some day and see Smytty's name.

Avatar
#36 Rheal1
August 07 2013, 03:12PM
Trash it!
7
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

Obviously it's between Hall and Eberle... but it can wait until after xmas if required. My personal choice would be: Taylor Hall C Jordan Eberle A Andrew Ference A

Avatar
#37 Cal Oatway
August 07 2013, 04:20PM
Trash it!
7
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

In reply to my previous comment, I said that the best player or the one that shows the top leadership qualities, should wear the "C". I think Kessel and Subban will one day make excellent Captains. I prefer to compare to the leadership and success to the likes of Toews, Chara,

On another note, I am not a big fan of the shared "C" and I totally agree with 47#WhattaMike's comments.

Agree to disagree, it's always fun to read all the comments and fun to debate the comments. I wonder if MacT reads them?

Jason Strudwick, keep the articles coming. I really enjoy reading them !!

Avatar
#38 Cal Oatway
August 07 2013, 12:44PM
Trash it!
6
trashes
Cheers
10
cheers

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.

Avatar
#39 oldhippy
August 07 2013, 02:09PM
Trash it!
6
trashes
Cheers
8
cheers

@Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

Cool analogy.

Being a boomer and a tradesman, I rarely saw the best tradesman elevated to the foreman's rank. (and rarely did they aspire to be that guy) The push on a project was often the best guy on that job, but not the over-all leader. Occasionally a foreman was somebody who was close to retirement and acted as a mentor, passing on years of acquired knowledge. Experiments with super tradesmen as leaders rarely worked, as they could not relate to their peers.

Not sure any analogy outside of sport, works.

Hall is going to be the captain on this team, sooner or later. I would rather it be later. I would rather he wait one more year. I see him being Toews eventually, but he isn't there yet.

Play devil's advocate. Hall named captain, Oilers struggle, Hall continues to play well, but with fewer goals. Do you take the captaincy away? I would rather the Oilers wait one more year. One more year of improvement and development. He's 21 and signed to a six year contract. There is time to honour age, youth will always be served.

Avatar
#40 LinkfromHyrule
August 07 2013, 12:35PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers

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.

Avatar
#41 hags9k
August 07 2013, 12:48PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
12
cheers

Sure, take your time coach as long as in the end it's Hall. :)

Avatar
#42 The Soup Fascist
August 07 2013, 01:00PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers
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.

Avatar
#43 Dipstick
August 07 2013, 01:04PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Sanaa Montana

Maybe someone who "knows" can confirm.

Avatar
#44 Matt Henderson
August 07 2013, 01:46PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

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?

Avatar
#45 15w40
August 07 2013, 01:49PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

I don't like the interim idea. Just keep a permanent "A" like Ferance and rotate 3 or 4 more through.

Can you have 3 assistants on the game roster?

Once the coach has his captain, name him and go forward with it. Even if you go the entire next season without one.

Avatar
#46 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
August 07 2013, 02:47PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers
oldhippy wrote:

Cool analogy.

Being a boomer and a tradesman, I rarely saw the best tradesman elevated to the foreman's rank. (and rarely did they aspire to be that guy) The push on a project was often the best guy on that job, but not the over-all leader. Occasionally a foreman was somebody who was close to retirement and acted as a mentor, passing on years of acquired knowledge. Experiments with super tradesmen as leaders rarely worked, as they could not relate to their peers.

Not sure any analogy outside of sport, works.

Hall is going to be the captain on this team, sooner or later. I would rather it be later. I would rather he wait one more year. I see him being Toews eventually, but he isn't there yet.

Play devil's advocate. Hall named captain, Oilers struggle, Hall continues to play well, but with fewer goals. Do you take the captaincy away? I would rather the Oilers wait one more year. One more year of improvement and development. He's 21 and signed to a six year contract. There is time to honour age, youth will always be served.

I wasn't trying to say that the best assembly line worker is the best person to manage the assembly line. What I'm saying is that Gen Y is more likely to be motivated by a manager who is good at their job right now, rather than one who has a history of success but is bordering on irrelevant right now.

Boomers, on the other hand, tend to respect hierarchy quite a bit more than Gen Ys. They are much more likely to do what their boss tells them because they are the boss.

I'm not saying one attitude is better than the other, or that every Boomer or Gen Y is exactly the same. These are just prevailing trends in each generation that can lead to conflict in the workplace, and I don't think it makes much of a difference who's signing your paycheque.

Avatar
#47 Spoils
August 07 2013, 04:24PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers
Sanaa Montana wrote:

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.

Man do I LOVE Yak. Just don't see him as a Captain. Certainly not this year.

Again my gut says it should be "timid little RNH" as soon as he is able to make the rest of the NHL look like the boys he made his cohort look like at the WJC.

When is that though - when he is 24?

JSchultz would be my next bet (but again not this year). He was the best when they were all rocking the AHL (ie. playing in a league where they were on top).

Point is the Oilers are best selecting someone for this year and probably next.

Pull the trigger based on the room at camp. Ference seems ideal - anybody on the team wants to argue that call they can go win a cup.

Avatar
#48 Dipstick
August 07 2013, 12:42PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers
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.

Avatar
#49 Dipstick
August 07 2013, 12:54PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

@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.

Avatar
#50 westcoastoil
August 07 2013, 04:24PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

Struds - I recall seeing/reading an item at the time Moreau was made it was somewhat of a tradition on the club that the outgoing captain would give his input and to who the next captain should be...and this was often followed.

different circumstances here because (I think for the first time) there's a change of coach and captain in the same season.

If Hall isn't ready (and I think he may be) a possible solution is to name Smyth captain as that would set up a transition year until next season when the coach knows his players better and the leadership role is evident.

Comments are closed for this article.