Tradition-rich teams no longer giving out the ‘C’
Detroit, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, Vegas and Rangers only teams without captain
Henrik and Daniel Sedin were Vancouver mainstays for 18 years, and while it was Henrik who formally wore the “C” on his chest as the team captain for eight seasons, the two shared the privilege and the burden of being the twin faces of the Canucks.
In a first season without them, Vancouver general manager Jim Benning just didn’t think his young, rebuilding team was completely ready to replace them, and he didn’t feel it was right to make one player the public voice of the locker room just yet.
Rather than award one player a “C” so soon after the Sedins’ retirement, four players — Alex Edler, Bo Horvat, Brandon Sutter and Chris Tanev — wear an “A” as assistant captains, sharing a leadership responsibility that can often be too heavy for one player
“Being a Canadian team in a Canadian marketplace, I feel that there’s a lot of extra responsibility on a captain,” Benning said. “We have a lot of good veteran leadership in our group, and we felt like we’re going to just go with the assistant captains this year.”
Six NHL teams — Detroit,
Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, Vegas and the New York Rangers — are currently without one, and last season, four teams didn’t have captains; the Hurricanes had co-captains, which the team changed this off-season in favour of awarding Justin Williams the “C,” despite him approaching unrestricted free
agency at the end of this season.
With several tradition-rich teams from the NHL’s Original Six among the group embracing a captain less season, could the sport one day go the way of others and do away with awarding one player a “C”?
Since the departure of Henrik, left, and Daniel Sedin, the Canucks have decided to go with four alternates instead of naming a captain.