Thread: Bad Captains?
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10-02-2003, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by 4thLineGoon
A lot of teams seem to give the C (or A) to the best players on the team. Is this a good idea, as other players might follow the lead of the most successful players, or a bad idea, as a guy who has to work harder and play in a team structure might be a better role model?
In Ottawa, we had a stretch with two extreme examples.

At one point, Randy Cunneyworth was our captain. At the time he was appointed, he was a regular 2nd/3rd line player for the team. He was a leadership type guy, who had the respect of his peers, stood up in the dressing room, yada, yada, yada. After about a year or so, his play started to decline. He was now seeing fourth line duty, and was going to be scratched on several occassions, but they didn't want to scratch the captain.

The next year, they appointed a new captain. At that point, Yashin was coming into his own as the best offensive player that this team had, and management wanted to give him the "C", so that he could develop the leadership style. Giving the "C" to your best player seemed like a smart thing to do, as it avoids the whole Cunneyworth controversy. Well, Yashin, for obvious reasons, didn't make the best captain out there. He wasn't a very vocal guy in the dressing room, and didn't demonstrate a lot of passion on the ice. His repeated playoff disappearances didn't help his case either. His holdout opened the door for Alfie to get the captaincy, who has been a much better captain, since he has the respect of the team, and is one of the best players on the team.

So to answer your question, the captain must always be a leader before he gets the "C". Trying to build a captain will only lead to disaster, I'm afraid. I think the best candidates for captaincy are usually defencemen. They log more ice team than the premier forwards, giving them more opportunity to dispute calls with the ref. In Ottawa, if Alfie leaves this year, I would like to see Redden given the captaincy, as he seems to have the balance. He's our best defencemen, and appears to be a real leader of the team.

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