Apr. 14, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Martin St. Louis (26) takes a shot on goal against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Follow The Captain With A Captain

Okay Lightning fans, it’s time to face the facts: Vincent Lecavalier is gone and the team needs a new captain. For the first time since March 1, 2001, the Lightning have to appoint a new player to be the captain. Usually when looking for a captain, the team will choose a young gun who was their first draft pick in a recent draft with loads of potential. This is what the Pittsburgh Penguins did with Sidney Crosby, the Washington Capitals with Alex Ovechkin, and even the Lightning with young Vinny in 2000. He thrived in the position of captain and led the team for the last 13 seasons. But the trend of captain has always gone from young talent that matures into skilled leader and veteran and then passes on the torch to the next new talent. This year should be no different for the Bolts.

Looking more and more into the race for the “C,” I’m finding that this trend will most likely continue in Tampa. The obvious choice to be named the new captain of the Bolts should be Steven Stamkos. Not only is he 23 but he also has led the league in scoring twice and has the NHL record for most goals scored in overtime in the regular season. He has proved to be the player the Lightning need to pose a threat to whatever team they face. Its a similar tactic that we see with the Penguins use of Crosby and the Capitals use of Ovechkin.

Mar 20, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos (91) carries the puck against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. Toronto defeated Tampa Bay 4-2. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The teams advertise the greatness of each player to get the support of the fans and put fear in the opponents’ eyes.  Stamkos has essentially become the face of the Lightning franchise that lives for the fast paced offense that Stamkos provides. Paired along with speedster Martin St. Louis, the two push the puck up the ice at an intense pace and lead the charge.

Speaking of Marty, why isn’t he going to be the next captain? He is just as talented as Stamkos and has been with the Lightning organization longer. Well, lets compare the two. Stammers is a 23 year old that has another 15+ years that he could play, a two-time All-Star and two-time scoring champion. Marty is a 38 year old that has already played at a hard level and may have only a few years left in him. While I can see him becoming the captain, I would see that to be maybe a little dumb because he could retire in a few years and have to turn the title over the Stamkos. However, I do think that giving St. Louis the title now would be a huge honor for him and would love for him the be the captain. I just see it going to Stamkos and staying with Stammers until he retires or another contract issue like Vinny’s.

Tags: Martin St Louis Steven Stamkos Tampa Bay Lightning Vincent Lecavalier

  • Judy tinnirello

    I agree with your comments that Stamkos is the logical choice for all the reasons you cited. However, I think Marty St. Louis has more than earned the honor of captain, although with his modesty, he would probably say it should be Stamkos. May for now, we have co-captains – one younge one and one more seasoned one. That would make me happy.

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  • Sonny Chiba

    What the rest of the league does (or does not do) should be of no concern to Yzerman, Cooper and the Bolts – It is my belief that Stamkos will have plenty of time and opportunity to cement his credentials as captain.

    However, for the time being (in the “here and now”) there is no better-qualified candidate for the captaincy than Martin St Louis – And to consider offering the “C” to anyone else would be a grave insult (and an injustice) to his tireless work and leadership over these many years. The man has earned the honor, many times over.

    Give St Louis the “C” and allow Steven to continue to develop (without additional distractions and pressure) – Stamkos will inevitably be named captain, once Marty decides to hang them up for good; there’s no hurry, in that regard.

    It would be the smart move, and the “right” thing to do – The classy thing to do. One can only hope that the Lightning organization views it similarly.

  • Yeti

    What about Dave Andreychuk’s captaincy? They gave the title to an “old guy” and won the cup. Marty deserves the “C” more than almost anyone in the league