Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Patrick Hoffman on 12/11/10 at 12:00 AM ET
from Ryan Kennedy at TheHockeyNews.com:
Before the 2010-11 campaign began, I talked to numerous NHL personalities about what the ‘C’ meant these days and Rivet was one of the focuses. Teammate Jason Pominville told me that when Rivet arrived in 2008, he was a rarity on the team: a veteran willing to be vocal in the dressing room. The players took to him right away and voted him in as captain.
Two seasons later, I wonder about the optics of him being relegated to the sidelines. What does it mean for the leader of the team not to be on the bench during a game, imparting his wisdom to the youth or stabilizing a dicey situation? Maybe the Sabres are mature enough now that they can stand on their own without Rivet, but it doesn’t seem like a good situation to me.
The trend in the NHL recently has been for captains to be younger and often super-skilled. You’re never going to see Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews or Shea Weber benched. But based on the fact Toronto has eight legitimate NHL defensemen at its disposal right now, would it be crazy to think Phaneuf would be a healthy scratch one of these days if he continues to give the puck away or miss assignments?
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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