Wait and see

Is­lan­ders con­sid­er­ing op­tions with cap­taincy

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - BY JA­SON MAL­LOY

The Char­lot­te­town Is­lan­ders are not rush­ing into nam­ing a new cap­tain.

The Is­lan­ders traded cap­tain Pierre-Olivier (P.O.) Joseph to the Drum­mondville Voltigeurs on Dec. 27. Joseph had been the team’s cap­tain since Septem­ber 2017. They dealt as­sis­tant cap­tain Keith Get­son to Hal­i­fax on Dec. 22.

Bren­don Clavelle and Brett Budgell are re­main­ing as­sis­tant cap­tains while the team has ro­tated the third A be­tween veter­ans Hunter Drew and Daniel Hardie.

“We’ll see what the next cou­ple of weeks brings,” head coach Jim Hul­ton said.

It is pos­si­ble a cap­tain emerges, but Hul­ton is also con­tem­plat­ing ask­ing the league if it can have four as­sis­tants for the re­main­der of the sea­son.

Hul­ton has been im­pressed with Drew and Hardie step­ping up since the trades and said there is not a void of lead­er­ship in­side the room.

Clavelle doesn’t see the lack of one player wear­ing the C as a big deal.

“If we have good lead­ers in the room and there’s four A’s I don’t think it should mat­ter,” he said.

While some of the lead­ers are gone, the im­pact they had will be felt well into the fu­ture.

“The whole room ben­e­fited from be­ing around Keith and P.O. for a cou­ple of years and to me it was lead­er­ship from be­ing good peo­ple,” Hul­ton said.

“They weren’t the most vo­cal guys in the room by any stretch of the imag­i­na­tion, but they be­came lead­ers be­cause they cared so much about their team­mates and I think that’s rubbed off on our younger guys,” he added. “You can see the torch has been passed in terms of lead­er­ship and a lot of them are im­ple­ment­ing the les­sons they learned from Keith and P.O. now.”

Clavelle said he learned a lot from Joseph, Get­son and Pas­cal Aquin last year.

“Those guys were great lead­ers,” he said. “P.O. took me un­der his wing, so it makes it a lot eas­ier for us to lead this group.”

He said he won’t change his ap­proach with his for­mer team­mates gone.

“I don’t re­ally worry about it,” he said. “I play my game, I try to have fun and keep it loose in the room.”

Hul­ton said there are other lead­ers in the room, par­tic­u­larly fourth-year Is­lan­der Matthew Welsh as well as Jor­dan Ma­her, who has five years of ex­pe­ri­ence in the league and won the Me­mo­rial Cup last sea­son.

“Welsh has al­ways been a main­stay. If he wasn’t a goal­tender, he’d have a let­ter on,” he said.

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