1. Has been on the team for more than a few shifts, and
2. Has been in the NHL for at least a few years.
The exception would be the recently acquired dominant superstar (like Gretzky at the time)
It's also helpful if the Captain and the Coach are on the same page.
If Norstrom were to leave (and using this criteria), the logical choice would be....
The third option is to name a player who is young, likely to stay with the team for years and who they want to groom into a cornerstone player. Along the lines of Pronger, Lecavalier, Yashin, Yzerman, Kariya, Thornton.
I don't really see anyone on the team that fits that mold except MAYBE Gleason but I wouldn't name him Captain for another couple years. Anyone who loses an ego battle with a mediocre goalie can't be Captain.
I agree with those who think Army shouldn't be Captain. I love the guy but he could just as easily end up in Manchester as LA and you just can't name a guy like that as Captain. Same with TK. I like the guy but you can't have your Captain going up and down to LA and Manchester.
Assuming all contracts remain valid but that Luc retires...and assuming that Norstrom were traded (which I don't think will happen, but I'll play the game), the only realistic choices are:
Conroy, Straka, Visnovsky, Miller, Klatt, Belanger and Dempsey. In order I would rank them:
Conroy is really a no-brainer IMO. He wore an "A" in St. Louis and a "C" in Calgary.
I wouldn't give an "A" to Frolov or Gleason until it's not a distraction to their learning. I want them learning THE GAME first and LEADERSHIP second.
If you're talking 3 yrs from now, who the hell knows? Conroy, Klatt, Straka, Miller, Belanger and Dempsey would all likely be gone and who knows whether Frolov or Gleason or Visnovsky will be respected enough to lead the team? Maybe by then Avery would...or Lehoux...or Cammy.
If Norstrom was to be traded than I think Aaron Miller would be a very good choice.
Klatt and Conroy would also be likely candidates (plus Luc if he is still around)
Frolov just isnt captains material IMO.
And fringe guys like TK or Armstrong will never get the C.
Future captains could be Gleason or Dustin Brown