This is too much fun. I love standing up on this pulpit, judging other people's/teams decisions. I would be a sweet cult leader, but none of that mass suicide crap, unless we lose another Stanley Cup or Super Bowl. Anyways, on with the show, this installment focuses on the captains of the Southeast Division.
Captain: Alexander Ovechkin
Player who should be Captain: Brooks Laich
I know he's a free agent this year, but my man-crush on Brooks Laich knows no contractual stipulations. But man, when you have a team as loaded as the Caps are, and as their leader, you can't inspire them to even win a game in the second round of the playoffs, or for that matter, to EVER get past the second round? That's pretty bad. I'm not taking anything away from Ovechkin as a player, he's got more talent than I could ever hope to have in anything. But the facts remain the same. Unlike Crosby, he's shown no real ability to lead his troops. He doesn't raise the game of the people around him, he simply tries to win the game by himself. This was never more apparent than in Game 4 of the Lightning series this year. Ovi probably took about a billion shots in that game, but nobody around him was playing with any sense of urgency. As a captain, you need to harness your energy and distribute it amongst the rest of your team. Ovechkin doesn't seem to have that ability, and until he does (if ever), he doesn't deserve the "C".
Tampa Bay Lightning
Captain: Vincent LeCavalier
Player who should be Captain: Martin St. Louis
This is probably more for the sake of argument than anything else. LeCavalier seems like a perfectly capable Captain. He leads, he raises his game up to the next level when he needs to, and plays a pretty clean game. It's hard not to love Martin St. Louis though. He's the ultimate underdog. Undrafted out of the University of Vermont, and extremely undersized, his tenacity and utter refusal to let his stature be a hindrance to his game is an inspiration to all who watch him. This is a truly tough call.
Captain: Eric Staal
Player who should be Captain: Eric Staal
There's not really anyone else it could be. Cam Ward? Meh.
Atlanta Thrashers/Manitoba Moose?
Captain: Andrew Ladd
Player who should be Captain: Andrew Ladd
A case could be made for Dustin Byfuglien, but he's only been there a year. For the few Thrashers games that Pens fans get to watch in a year, eyes often fixate to Ladd. A very underrated player, Ladd looks as if he's always trying to hold back an avalanche. He knows the team around him sucks, but every shift, he strives for that not to be the case. Andrew, if you don't feel like moving your stuff the whole way to Manitoba, feel free to just set up camp here in Pittsburgh. I can hope, right?
Player who should be Captain: None
If you can even name three players on the Panthers, congratulations. So why should they even have a Captain? Management is making the right call here. Nobody cares about your team anyways, why put in the work of deciding on who should be Captain? Just go lay on the beach.
On second thought, they should probably make Scott Clemmensen the captain just because of this: