I'm giving my homer vote to Smyth. He was the soul of the team through some very high and low periods and deserves the honour more than anyone on that team, IMO. Let him retire as captain, even on the 3rd or 4th line. I believe he has a few more years left in the tank.
I believe that Smyth should have it for this year and have one of the young guys follow in his shadow to take the C as soon as he retires. That's what I say. Tell Smyth he get's the captaincy and we want you to groom _______ to take the C as soon as you feel ready to pass it on.
IMO Eberle would be a good choice:
-signed long term.
-composure on-ice. Not likely to let the "C" effect his performance or over feed his ego.
-mature enough to bridge the gap between the young guns and the vets.
-with his demeanour, he wouldn't come across as a kid throwing a tantrum when dealing with on-ice officials.
-vanilla enough with the media not to offend us hardcore fans that dissect every word and fill-in-the-blanks to fit our own opinion.
That said, I predict Hall will get it this summer after Horcoff gets bought out. The fans love him and he is already representing the team while courting FAs and at the draft.
Probably Smyth, his career is almost done might as well give it to him.
Smyth doesn't lead Hall, Eberle or RNH onto the ice every night. It's their team now. When we're down a goal, everyone is looking at them to get the job done. One of them should be captain and I think Hall is the guy. He's the face of the franchise.
Horcoff will not be bought out....what's the point? The Oilers are not in any cap trouble and he is the captain of the team.
Even Horcoff said on the day he was named captain that he knew the day would eventually come where he gave up the C to one of the young players. It likely doesn't happen this season but probably next summer. Either way, there is almost no chance that Horcoff has a letter on his jersey when he plays his last game as an Oiler. He doesn't need to be bought out for this to happen.