When you read the title, you were probably thinking, offensive categories. Goals, assists, +/-, etc, yet I’m not going down that road, at least not in this blog. No, I’m talking about who leads the Blues on and off the ice. Who are the leaders of the club? Who shows the leadership worth of wearing the captain’s ‘C’ on his jersey?
Now when asked who should be the captain of the St. Louis Blues, Blues fans overwhelmingly want David Backes to wear the ‘C’.
Jeremy Rutherford posted an article, Blues To Address Captaincy At Start Of Camp, over on Stltoday.com which included a poll to who the fans thought the captain should be next season. A startling 75% of the vote went to Backes. While Jackman received 8%, Pietrangelo got 6% of the votes, Steen received 5%, McDonald only got 4% and the ‘other’ category received 2% of the votes. If that wasn’t enough, a poll is open in the Blues section of HFBoards.com has almost the exact same outcome.
This shouldn’t be to surprising as Backes has been the back bone to the Blues when talking to the media, being out and a part of the St. Louis scene, not to mention he’s been an offensive leader for the club the past few years as well. Yet is Backes the right choice for captaincy?
There are arguments for Backes as well as others to become the captain of the St. Louis Blues as soon as next year. Backes has been groomed for captaincy and would be an ideal choice to slap the ‘C’ on his chest, but what about the other options?
Alexander Steen, the Swedish forward who has made a name for himself in St. Louis as an offensive top six player who has a great two way game. His smooth skating and strong foot speed allows Steen to back check and be a player reliable on the powerplay and the penalty kill. He seems very well liked in the locker room and has consistently wore the ‘A’ in St. Louis s one of their assistant captains. He knows how to lead on the ice, doing all the little things and he’s active in the St. Louis community, could he possibly be honored with the ‘C’?
Barret Jackman is the longest tenured Blue and the only to play with Al MacInnis. Jackman, a former Calder Trophy winner was paired with MacInnis the year he won the Calder for best rookie player in the NHL. He has worn the ‘A’ for many years now and could very well make a good captain. He handles the media well and is, like the other candidates, good with the St. Louis community. However, Jackman will be an unrestricted free agent at years end. Is it in the Blues plans to keep Jackman or could he potentially walk during free agency?
Lastly is my wild card, Alex Pietrangelo.
Now before you start in about how he is too young, lets take a look at two of the last three Stanley Cup championships. Sidney Crosby and Jonathan Toews both captained those teams. Both under the age of 22. He captain the Niagara Ice Dogs in juniors. He wore an ‘A’ in the World Junior Championships and he wore an ‘A’ last season after Johnson was traded to Colorado. Known to have great leadership skills.
Pietrangelo is the cornerstone of this franchise on the defensive side of the puck. He’s the Blues number one defensemen and they felt comfortable enough to trade first overall pick, Erik Johnson to Colorado and leave the defense in Pietrangelo’s hands. He could be a good option at captain.
Now, picking a captain isn’t easy pickings, and there are things going on in the dressing room that we as fans do not know about. Fans complained about Eric Brewer as captain yet it was the team who voted Brewer as captain to start.
I personally believe that David Backes will be named captain, but with the long wait to name a captain, it’s possible we could be shocked into seeing Alex Pietrangelo or Barret Jackman wearing the ‘C’ starting the season.
In closing, I’d like to send my prayers out to the family and friends of Wade Belak, I am so sorry for your loss. The world has lost a great man and he will always be remembered. I grew up watching Wade on Toronto and he entertained better than anyone. Rest in peace Wade.
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