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.
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.