Morning Free Association: Captains

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While the Bruins had a day off from playing and just practiced up in Buffalo, there wasn’t much news from them other than Linus Ullmark getting set to face his old team. He’s totally cool with it.

Charlie McAvoy now has 100 assists in his young career after assisting on two goals in Philly.

And Nick Foligno has been ruled out for tonight’s contest against the Sabres.

However, a couple of different articles I read or am reading caught my eye and piqued my interest. The first was about the 1997-born Junior Bruins which featured a few well-known local kids and some other now famous talented players like Charlie McAvoy. That story is behind The Athletic paywall and I’m not quite done with it.

The other story is from Greg Wyshynski at the now hockey-rich ESPN about captains. Actually, it’s ESPN+ and behind another paywall unless you have that package. Crap. Anyway, it starts off with the recounting of Jack Eichel being brutally stripped of the Buffalo Sabres captaincy and ends up talking about what a captain means to a team.

The reason that Buffalo GM Kevyn Adams decided to make that change was: “From our perspective and my perspective, I feel the captain is the heartbeat of your team. And we’re in a situation, from where we were in the past and where we are now, that we felt that we needed to address that.” Basically, he knew that due to the stalemate over the handling of Eichel’s injury that Eichel would likely never play another game for the Sabres. The Montreal Canadiens are in a similar situation with their captain Shea Weber, whose foot injury is such that he may be LTIRetired with 5 years left on his 14 year long deal. Marc Bergevin has vowed that Weber will remain the captain while he is still under contract with the team.

I find the captaincy to be fascinating. I never really knew how much of a role the GM played in the decision. Obviously it has to be a group decision at some point with the GM, coach, and other front office personnel. Wyshynski spoke with Oilers GM and longtime Red Wings GM Ken Holland about some of his previous captains. Steve Yzerman was given the job at 21 before Holland came aboard. When it was time to choose another to replace him, Holland tells it this way:

A general manager since 1997, Holland didn’t have to make too many tough calls on the captaincy. He inherited Yzerman with the Detroit Red Wings, who was then succeeded by Nicklas Lidstrom.

“That took about two minutes to decide,” said Holland with a laugh.

Some teams haven’t had such an easy time of it. The New York Rangers are going into a 4th full season without a captain after trading Ryan McDonough in 2018. This year they have named 6 alternate captains. The Golden Knights waited until season 4 to name Mark Stone the head honcho.

Seattle Named Mark Giordano captain during training camp.

One thing’s for sure, we always knew that Patrice Bergeron would become the captain of the Bruins. He has continued to cultivate a leadership group beyond the players that he’s played aside since the 2011 cup winners, though Brad Marchand is now wearing the “A” for a second year.


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the german hammer

About the german hammer

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Long-Winded Striped Mofo
Long-Winded Striped Mofo

Had to shut off WiFi on all devices in da house today so Jo’s computer could function. Sloooow goes the interweb in Monroe!

The London Bear
The London Bear


I’d like to read that article. I was put up as captain of our darts team mainly due to be the oldest and least likely to get us thrown out of the league. I suspect NHL teams have a more stringent selection system.

Theres a bunch of us in the office today. We’re having a get together later to say goodbye to some colleagues who left due to cutbacks during the pandemic. Should be good.

I cant go too mad, though, because tomorrow we’re going to the theatre for a manatee performance of Matilda – Leah’s birthday present (which was a few months ago).

Hope there’s a good turnout for the Zoom chat tomorrow. I cant make it as my Dad is staying over, which means it’s a full house.

Satan 81's Sister
Satan 81's Sister

Morning all. Steve’s friend organized a beautiful celebration of life last night. It was very much him.

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
Long-Winded Striped Mofo

Good morning!
The Bruins have done well with captains and the choices have been fairly easy to make. I can’t believe that the Rags have had no captain since McDonagh! I think we will be able to watch tonight!
Found out one of our boating friends plays disc golf….”haven’t played in years” he said…. Aced the 9th hole! Beat me by a stroke, Jo by two. Great fun…