, coach, coach

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.

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

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.