Just days after D.J. Smith announced that the team would have three veterans wearing letters, the Ottawa Senators announced their leadership group for the 2019/20 season.
The Ottawa Senators, in an effort to protect some of their future leaders for what could be an extremely long and difficult season, have named three veterans as their leadership group ahead of the new season.
Two players selected by the Sens’ first-time head coach will be new alternate captains for the organisation, with the third having worn the ‘A’ on a red jersey for the previous two seasons already.
The least surprising selection for one of the team’s three alternates is Jean-Gabriel Pageau, who will be entering his third season as a leader in the Canadian capital.
Pageau has spent his entire professional career as a part of the Senators organisation and has 142 points (63 goals, 79 assists) in 368 regular-season games with the Ottawa team.
He has had some decent success in the playoffs with the Sens, registering 16 points (12 goals, four assists) in 35 appearances.
Continuity is something that new head coaches value greatly and Pageau represents the ideal candidate for Smith to hand the ‘A’ to, given that he is already very familiar with the organisation, fanbase and with the responsibility that comes with being an official leader on the team.
The Ottawa Senators are determined to keep their young, developing stars focused on their performances on the ice and understand that constant questions about the team’s performance over the coming season could become quite a burden on their development.
None of the players given ‘A’s this week will be the next captain of the team and may not even be named alternates a year or two from now but, while the young guys are developing, having experienced guys that know the organisation are needed to fill the gap.
Mark Borowiecki is the perfect example of a good soldier that will help young players develop on and off the ice, all the while not being bothered by the frequent media demands that come along with the role.
Borowiecki has spent his entire career in Ottawa, making 322 regular-season appearances to date, and is remembered by many as the guy sitting alongside Eugene Melnyk in THAT video.
He will do a solid job at being a leader for Smith and will do his part for the team moving forward.
Familiarity is certainly something that Smith wants in his new role in the capital, which has led to the unsurprising selection of Ron Hainsey as the third and final alternate.
Hainsey has worn the ‘A’ three times previously in his long career, for the Atlanta Thrashers and Carolina Hurricanes.
The 38-year-old blueliner has 1068 games under his belt and has won the Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins, having plenty of experience and good habits he can impart on the team’s young defensive prospects.
His familiarity with Smith will help on the ice, but his value as a mentor over the next season can’t be overstated and will arguably be his biggest contribution to the organisation.
What do you think of the team’s choice of alternate captain’s Sens fans? Let us know who you would’ve chosen and why in the comments below!