Speaking Of… Captains

As many of you know, the Oilers played the whole 2015-16 season without a captain. If you are finding this out for the first time here, well then I would like to congratulate you on digging yourself out from under the rock you’ve apparently been living under. This upcoming season, the Oilers COULD continue with four assistants – OR – they could be like all the other teams in the league and have a captain to lead this team to a second place wild card spot in the standings! Here are my picks for the Oilers next captain.

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Sam Gagner

…. Just kidding, Wanye.

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Matt Hendricks 

Hendo won’t be the most popular pick as an Oilers captain, but his on-and-off ice leadership skills are far from none. Matt Hendricks was named the captain of the United States national team for the World Championships in Prague last year, and led the team to finish at the top of their round robin pool. He is currently an alternate captain with the Oilers and should certainly be considered for the role.

We all know Connor McDavid will someday wear the “C” on his jersey but if the Oilers’ management doesn’t want that time to come so soon, Matt Hendricks is the perfect fill-in choice. Matt Hendricks currently has one year remaining on his contract, and is a young 34 years old. We can re-sign him for two more years so that he can retire in Edmonton, which will allow him to wear the “C” while McDavid can rake in some more NHL games before taking on the role.

Don’t get mad at me for not immediately jumping on the McDavid For Captain train. Get mad at me cause I kind of think we can do much better than trading key players for Travis Hamonic. These are just the options the Oilers have moving into the new season. 

Taylor Hall

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In 2010, when he got drafted by the Oilers, Taylor Hall was given the keys to the franchise. He was ALSO given the keys to the city, the keys to Darryl Katz’s houses, the keys to the legislature, and the keys to my apartment if he still wants them. Before this season, everything that our management attempted to do to the team, was done so around Taylor Hall. Flash forward six years, and things haven’t gone as planned. Taylor Hall doesn’t have any cup rings, and still is not the captain.

Now that there’s an opening, should he fill it? He has been here since the beginning of the second rebuild, so he’s put in some time. Hall has been through the most out of everyone on the team (except for Eberle) and he definitely has some leadership qualities in him. Sure, Taylor Hall has had the odd spaz attack on the ice/bench, but if you were on a losing team for six years and wanted to win as badly as he does, it could happen to anyone. 

I don’t think it would be a bad idea to have somebody like Taylor Hall, who wears his heart on his sleeve, be the captain. He has long waited for it. I mean, if Taylor Hall gets moved this summer then I guess the conversation is over. If Matt Hendricks gets the C, you know it will be temporary because he will likely retire soon. This leads me to the only problem I have if Taylor Hall becomes captain – how long he will have it for? You can’t just yank it away from him again in a year when it’s McDavid’s turn. With that said, the only way I see Hall becoming captain is if Chiarelli is committed to him wearing it for a long time, and if he’s okay with McDavid not having the C for a while. 

Connor McDavid

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As I’ve said before, Connor McDavid will obviously be the captain of the Edmonton Oilers one day. He is one of the top skilled players in the league, and has the maturity of a 40-year-old veteran. An NHL veteran that is. Though he probably has the maturity of a war veteran as well. He has leadership experience also, being the captain of the Eerie Otters in his final year, and assistant captain of Team Canada in his final year at the World Juniors. We’ve all heard numerous stories coming out of the Oilers dressing room about his top-notch leadership skills as well. There is absolutely no reason that he will not be the future Oilers captain.

The main question is: when is Connor going to become the captain? It all depends on whether the Oilers management thinks he deserves and/or can handle it with only 45 total NHL games played. There is the option of beginning the season with four assistant’s again – then rewarding Connor with it later in the season. But why wait? If you don’t plan on giving it to anyone else, just give it to McDavid now. He has done things on the ice no rookie has ever done before, so why not make him the youngest captain ever! 

If the 2016-17 season began on October 1st, and Connor was named the captain in the off season, he would be the youngest player in NHL history to be named captain at 19 years and ~262 days. Gabriel Landeskog is the current leader, at 19 years and 286 days. 

North x NorthGretz Podcast

This week we mourn the death of Prince, the boys try to talk me into growing out a mullet, we review our terrible playoff brackets, and more before another highly educational round of Ask The Idiots!

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  • hagar

    I hope we HIRE a captain this year.

    A proper honest to goodness player that grabs this locker room by the sack. It isn’t fair to put this gong show on Mcdavid for a while yet.

    I would give it to a Maroon or Hendricks before Mcdavid right now if no trades happened.

  • You just got LITT up!

    Wow! Hall for captain? Worst idea ever. Just my opinion but Hall is not respected around the league, nor by the refs. Hall has tantrums on the ice / bench – not a captain. Look at the demeanour of Gio in Calgary, then honestly look at Hall. Full stop mcdavid will be our captain, however, give it to Hendricks for a year or two and let mcdavid just play / learn. Think if we do give it to Hall and strip him in 2 years – it would not end well. I’d like to see mcdavid take over after his entry level contract expires. My 2cents.

    • Copperking

      Gio is also like 20 yrs older then Hall. The old guys are either calm and collected or grumpy as hell. Hall deserves more credit then a lot of fans give him….