— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) October 7, 2015
The Edmonton Oilers announced this morning that they will play the 2015-16 season without a captain. Instead, they named four assistant captains to lead the group by committee. Matt Hendricks will wear a fifth “A” while Jordan Eberle is on the shelf with a shoulder injury.
It was a tough situation for Andrew Ference in terms of retaining the captaincy. He’s at a place in his career where he won’t be in the lineup every night, and the Oilers were in a spot where they couldn’t have their captain sitting in the press box. Spreading the leadership around through four alternate captains make sense to me. It makes even more sense if the plan (if there is one) is to give the “C” to Connor McDavid when he’s ready. A move needed to happen and the Oilers have handled it well.
I think we’d all agree that Andrew Ference is a wonderful human being, and a leader in the community, but the fact remains that his decline in play is the reason this move had to be made. They need their captain to be in the lineup. The Oilers are a young team in transition and need the leadership to follow suit. This team needs to be “handed” to the young core that will lead them for the next decade, and this is the first step to making that happen. Keeping Ference as an alternate captain also shows respect to a veteran player, and I commend the Oilers for showing some class in a tough situation.
IMO, Oilers took a tough scenario and made a solid call but did it in a respectful way with Ference Team captain can now emerge with time.
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) October 7, 2015
As suspected, four Alternates in EDM now: Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle and Ference. No captain, no letter for McDavid. Well handled, IMO.
— Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec) October 7, 2015
Five alternates with Ference giving up C in Edm. Hall, Eberle, RNH, Hendricks and Ference.#EJLive
— Jim Matheson (@NHLbyMatty) October 7, 2015
Ference included in the mix…right decision to wait on a captain https://t.co/puBKhV9vee
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) October 7, 2015
I think there was a mistake, the Oilers seem to have left me off the list of alternate captains….
— Jeanshorts (@JSBMjeanshorts) October 7, 2015
It’s still odd watching the Oilers do things that make sense. #Captaincy
— baggedmilk (@jsbmbaggedmilk) October 7, 2015
IMO Oilers are handling this captaincy sitch well. Ference still remains in a leadership role. Leaves the door open for a future McDavid C.
— Chris Gordeyko (@TheNationChris) October 7, 2015