Who Will the Next Captain Be?

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Who Will the Next Captain Be?

Post by Mattchoo12 on Tue Jun 14, 2016 10:06 pm

With the offseason officially here, one big event for the Canes will be the naming of the new captain. For a while, fans have been trying to guess who the new captain would be, but of course, nobody really knows for sure. Two clear favorites have emerged, and others have had their names thrown into the conversation.

Jordan Staal, Justin Faulk, Jeff Skinner, and Ron Hainsey (bear with me) have each had their names put into the conversation about the next captain. I'll do my best to provide reasons as to why each player should be considered, but some may be more in depth than others.

Jordan Staal

Jordan Staal had by far his best season with the Canes in 2015-16. He's shown the organization that he's a proven leader and an energetic guy. His presence on and off the ice is exactly what the Canes are looking for in a leader. Since he is one of the more veteran leaders on the team, it makes a lot of sense to name him captain. Some people are concerned that he will be just another Staal to lead this team nowhere. On the contrary, Staal is not alike his brother in that regard. He plays with a lot of energy, and skates hard every time his skates touch the ice. That's a big improvement.

Justin Faulk

Faulk has become a fan favorite these past two years, and for good reason. Faulk has been the Hurricanes' All Star Game representative for the past two years, and has earned an A on his jersey. Faulk continues to be a defensively solid player, and his offensive side was showcased this season as well. He scored 12 powerplay goals, tying the franchise record for most powerplay goals by a defenseman. Faulk would have continued to dominate on both sides of play had it not been for an injury that he sustained around the trade deadline. Faulk has become the face of the franchise, and would be my personal pick for captain. He's a presence in the locker room, and he gives 110% as soon as he steps into the ice.

Jeff Skinner

Skinner put on his big boy pants this season for the most part. He had a great offensive season, and was a lot more disciplined. His goofy nature inspires his teammates. Would he deserve a shot at captain? Absolutely. Is it a good chance? Probably not. While he has matured and become more disciplined, he still lacks prior experience as a leader. He's always willing to talk to the media, and this will eventually earn him at least a job as an assistant captain.

Rask and Hainsey

Bear with me here. Rask had a phenomenal second season in the NHL. Putting up almost 50 points is impressive for any player, especially a second year player on a team that ranked 3rd last in scoring. Is he captain material? No. He's more of a silent, serious leader in the locker room. Sometimes, that might be better for a player of his age. Now as for Hainsey, I don't think he'd be in the running for a few reasons. Hainsey's contract is up after the 2016-17 season, and he will most likely not be returning to the team. The Hurricanes have too many defensive prospects in the pipeline for him to maintain a roster spot for long. While he is good at his job, he's one of those players that is only assistant captain material.

While it is possible that the Hurricanes may just play with three assistant captains next season, I do not believe that they will do that. If Ron Francis wants to take another step into the future, he will assign the captaincy to one player. Fans will most likely hear the announcement closer to the season, which will mark the first big season for the Hurricanes in a long time. This is the season that fans have been looking forward to since 2009, and they deserve a team with a strong captain.


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