Ottawa Senators: Decision on captaincy could come soon

Ottawa Senators defenceman Thomas Chabot #72 is a top candidate for the captaincy. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)
Ottawa Senators defenceman Thomas Chabot #72 is a top candidate for the captaincy. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images) /

The Ottawa Senators have not had a captain since Erik Karlsson was traded, but it seems that could change sooner rather than later.

The naming of a captain is an important step for every franchise in the NHL and the Ottawa Senators may be comfortable with a couple of candidates already on their roster.

That must be the general consensus after head coach D.J. Smith reportedly confirmed that conversations on the topic have taken place between him and general manager Pierre Dorion.

Speaking to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun earlier this week, Smith stated that discussions have taken place, but the decision will not be rushed as they want to make sure prospective candidates are ready for the role.

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Replacing a club legend such as Erik Karlsson is not an easy move for any player, considering his importance to not only the franchise and to the sport, but to the city of Ottawa as a whole.

Handing the coveted ‘C’ to one of the team’s young stars will bring with it a lot of expectations and responsibilities, but it could be something that at least two players may already be considered worthy of taking on.

Thomas Chabot, who locked in his long-term future with the Senators after signing an eight-year, $64 million contract extension, is generally viewed as the frontrunner for the role.

He is the team’s best player on defence, regularly putting in top performances and leading by example each and every night he takes to the ice.

He would seem to be a sensible choice, given his professionalism and his potential to put himself in the conversation of the Norris Trophy when he is able to play at the top end of his ability.

Another obvious candidate is Brady Tkachuk, who has become a clear fan favourite since being drafted fourth-overall just two years ago.

From a statistics viewpoint, he posted almost identical seasons as a rookie and in his second year, with 45 (22 goals, 23 assists) and 44 (21 goals, 23 assists) points respectively in 71 games each.

While this is great production so early into his career, it is his overall attitude and work ethic that is more likely to put him firmly in contention for the captaincy.

No matter how well, or poorly, the Ottawa Senators perform, Tkachuk always appears to be full of confidence and determination and his positive attitude and overall persona are both valuable traits for captains.

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Whoever truly is being considered for the role doesn’t matter at this stage in the off-season, but it will be interesting to see how the decision eventually plays out and whether or not the Ottawa Senators do opt to name a solitary captain ahead of the 2020/21 campaign.