The Vegas Golden Knights started off their inaugural season with lots of dreams and hope, and sans a C stitched onto one of their players’ jersey. It made sense: how was general manager George McPhee supposed to name one of them captain without knowing them more personally and seeing what they could do on the ice.
It was a great move, as the Knights truly have gelled together and become a force to be reckon with as they headed into the first game of the Western Conference Finals against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday night.
Before the contest, assistant general manager Kelly McCrimmon was interviewed by Ron MacLean of Hockey Night in Canada on CBC, who asked the pertinent question about the future of the organization and who will become their first captain in history. While it was clear that McCrimmon did not want to reveal the team’s choice, his answer revealed a lot more than the club probably wanted…
“Our leader, I would probably have to start with our coach, Gerard Gallant, I always feel leadership starts there.”
He should have left it there. Instead, McCrimmon gave the names of his top candidates for the job in an interesting interpretation of the Golden Knights' successful inaugural season.
“In an expansion, we try to select younger players whenever possible, and there was a handful of situations where it wasn’t possible for us, and we took some great pros. I look at our team and at the contributions that were made by Deryk Engelland or Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - how good leaders those players are,” he added about his players.
“And Marc-Andre Fleury, besides being a great goaltender, is a tremendous person, and as we tried to establish our own identity and our own culture, these guys had tremendous impact on our team. So we don’t have a C per say, but we sure have players that contribute in that regard.”
What do you think of the frontrunners for the captaincy? Do you agree with the team’s assessment and who could be wearing the C as soon as next season? Who would be your first pick?