Tuesday, August 25, 2009

That's Quite Illogical, Captain

Two baffling Captain controversies have unfolded within the last two weeks. And by baffling I mean so stupid, that I'm confused as to why we are talking about it. Oh, that's right its the offseason, and Patrick Kane's already been charged with stupidity.

The first instance of doin' stupid is San Jose's stripping of Patrick Marleau's captaincy.

I have to believe that this was Doug Wilson's doing, and not Todd McLellan, but is this the "big shake-up" that Wilson had planned all summer? Does he really believe that Marleau as Captain is the reason why the Sharks can't get over the hump?

That's insanely idiotic, and what could be worse is the thought that they could actually return the 'C' to him. You look at that team, and there are certainly a handful of guys who would be worthy of that responsibility. Some of the names already floated have included Joe Thornton, Dan Boyle, Rob Blake, and even Joe Pavelski, but in my mind they all have flaws that make them a less valid option than Marleau.

Joe Thornton is too fragile a man-child to be given that kind of responsibility and pressure. The big man seems to crack easily under it. As great a hockey player as the guy is, there's just something about him that makes him too delicate for that kind of assignment. Have him Captain teams that don't mean anything like All-Star games, or Old Timers games, that's more his speed.

Rob Blake is another viable choice for Captain, but his nomination would be more of a charitable donation more than anything else. Blake is going into his 20th season in the league, he's won a Norris, he's got a ring, if the Sharks don't get it done this year, is there any reason to believe he'll be back for another? So you give him the 'C', not to say he's not worthy of it, and the Sharks somehow win the Chalice, he's captained a team to the Cup. Nice note to retire on, and then you're in the same situation you were before the start of this season. They don't win, and we're back to the blame game.

Dan Boyle is probably the next best option after Marleau, he's got experience, he's got a ring, and he leads by example. But again, it seems like he's too quiet and too laid back to get a fire going under this team's ass. Now that's not to say that Marleau doesn't have the same type of demeanor, but Pat's history with the team stretches far longer, he's been with the team since he was drafted in '97, ironically behind Joe Thornton. Boyle's only been on the team since last summer, handing it over to him makes the slap in the face to Marleau that much harder.

Joe Pavelski? First of all, he's a mouth breather. Second, I don't think he means as much to this team, or to Wilson, or McLellan as everyone thinks he does. One crappy year, and his head is on the trading block considering Wilson's volatility. Last, I don't think he's the direction you want this team to go. Yeah he's a working man's center, and he's been with the club since he was drafted, but if you're going to go with an outside the box candidate like this, go with a Ryan Clowe. Go with a guy who can carry the load, and the pressure that goes along with a perennial Stanley Cup contender who falls flat in the playoffs.

Come to think of it, maybe he doesn't want it.

As for the other issue that's only news when hockey fans are bored as hell, the Captaincy for Team Canada at the 2010 games. The fact that we're even considering Sidney Crosby when you've got great veterans like Jarome Iginla and Scott Niedermayer is just mind-blowing. Yeah he won the Cup and all this year, (with the help of a guy named Geno), but lets let him ease into the captaincy of an international event that only happens once every four years. Its should be a no-brainer excluding him from the decision, the hard part will be trying to figure out which of the two aforementioned hockey heroes should get it.

No comments: