Hockey Canada made the expected official announcement and named Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby as the captain of Canada’s star-studded entry in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
With the tournament starting in 3 weeks, Crosby was the odds on favorite after scoring the gold medal winning goal in overtime 4 years ago. He is the best player of the game and is on top of his game.
Was it the right choice? The only other player given any public consideration was Jonathan Toews, captain of the Blackhawks, who have won 2 Stanley Cups in the past 4 seasons and was named the best forward at the Olympics in 2010. Toews was named an alternate captain, as was Nashville Predators captain Shea Weber.
Crosby is used to the limelight and is a go-to guy in any dressing room he is part of. He is used to the scrutiny, but lets face it, on a team full of leaders he is head and shoulders above anyone else in terms of talent. The more popular choice might have been Toews, because of the polarizing effect Crosby has on hockey fans, with a lot of people resenting his talent and as a result not liking him as much. In the end, Crosby and the goaltending are going to be the most accountable should things not go right, and if anyone is capable of shouldering the load it is Crosby.
He won’t be alone, as there are 6 current NHL captains (Crosby, Toews, Weber, Ryan Getzlaf, John Tavares, Jamie Benn) as well as 7 NHL alternate Captains (Patrice Bergeron, Duncan Keith, Patrick Sharp, Chris Kunitz, Alex Pietrangelo, Patrick Marleau and Steven Stamkos) among the 22 skaters.
Suffice to say, leadership will not be a problem for the 2014 edition of Team Canada.