Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 12/19/13 at 09:20 AM ET
from Michael Arace of the Puck-Rakers at the Columbus Dispatch,
Remember that when Nash departed, there was talk that R.J. Umberger might be the next captain. Then, there was talk that Jack Johnson might be the guy. Umberger and Johnson are quality veterans but, I would submit, they are better as alternates. That is why neither wears the “C.”
Davidson, Kekalainen and company have said that going without a captain is not an issue. But it is. They know it because they are hockey people. Their team is inconsistent, in part, because it lacks a strong leader. This is not a new development in Columbus.
The right captain might be a guy like George Armstrong or Shane Doan, with leadership qualities that soar over physical ability. He might be a guy like Jean Beliveau or Joe Sakic, setting a high standard with dignity, class and ethereal talent. He might be a guy like Mark Messier, who could guarantee a victory and then back it up with a hat trick.
Does Brandon Dubinsky have enough game, or enough tact? Is there a man among the fuzz-faced — Ryan Johansen, Ryan Murray, Boone Jenner — who has the leadership chops?
The Blue Jackets have to get this right. Possibly, they will look for a bridge at the trade deadline or next summer, a respected veteran to wear the “C” until someone from the next generation presents himself.
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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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