Dec 16, 2011; Ottawa, ON, CAN; Ottawa Senators players Matt Carkner (39) and Chris Phillips (4) and Jason Spezza (19) during a break in action in the third period against Pittsburgh Penguins at Scotiabank Place. The Senators defeated the Penguins 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Could The Ottawa Senators Play Without A Captain This Season?

According to the, coach Paul MacLean stated late last week that he is in no hurry to name a new captain.  From the website:

I’ve got to spend some time talking to the individuals, talking to Bryan Murray, talking to my coaching staff. We’ve done a lot of preliminary talk about it, but we’re going to let the process — it’s going to be a process but I don’t think it’s going to be a difficult one — and we just have to take the time and get through it… I’m not going to put a timeline on it. When we make the decision that’s the day it’s going to be. – Paul MacLean to


With a number of suitable candidates (Jason Spezza, Chris Phillips, Erik Karlsson, Marc Methot and even Chris Neil), it could take some time to whittle the decision down to a core leadership group.

But could the decision be delayed into the season and even the whole season?  It wouldn’t be the first time a team has waited to replace a long-time captian and I am sure it wouldn’t be the last.  Columbus hasn’t named a captain since Rick Nash got traded over a year ago.  The Flames had Co-Captains (Lanny McDonald and Jim Peplinski) when they won the Stanley Cup in 1989.

Giving all of those players listed above a revolving set of “A”s might be a way to hand over the torch of leadership that was carried for 13 years by Daniel Alfredsson without putting too much pressure on a single individual to fill those large shoes.

Regardless of who wears what letter, that 5-some will be the main group counted upon to face the media questions as be the conduits between the players and coaches.

In the end I think all 5 will be “lettered” this season, probably with Spezza wearing the “C” and the other 4 splitting the “A”, 2 on the road and two at home. But I wouldn’t be completely shocked for MacLean and Bryan Murray to decide to play this entire season without naming a replacement for Alfredsson.

Tags: Captain Chris Neil Chris Phillips Erik Karlsson Jason Spezza Marc Methot Ottawa Senators

  • Bruno Love

    I agree. They should not rush naming the captain. Alfie had it for so long that it doesn’t make sense to rush it. They need to find the right candidate. What better way than to let them play a part of the season to find out who is better suited for that role.