Greg Wyshynski posted an interesting article last night at the Puck Daddy Blog mentioning that San Jose center Patrick Marleau was having his captaincy taken away. When Sharks coach Todd McLellan was recently asked who would be the team's captain he replied, "right now the team does not have a captain." Apparently the coach will make that decision at training camp.
Marleau has been criticized heavily because of the Sharks playoffs woes in recent years. Still, the team leader had 38 goals and 33 assists during the previous regular season. He had two more goals in just six playoff games.
If Marleau is getting the boot in San Jose, some fans might think that Rod Brind'Amour could be a candidate for the same thing here in Carolina.
During the past two seasons, Carolina's captain has been hampered by injuries and his production has dropped accordingly. He scored 16 goals and had 35 assists in 80 games last season and only had one goal and three assists in 18 playoff games. Perhaps even more importantly, he had a league worst -30 at one time before improving to -23 at year end. At 39 years of age, his best years are probably behind him.
But is any of that relevant? Do the stats really matter? Brind'Amour has always been an inspirational leader, even if he hasn't led the team in points.
The Carolina dressing room is filled with leaders, including Ray Whitney, Eric Staal, Scott Walker, and Tim Gleason. Each of them could be captains in their own right and do not seem to need to have the "C" on their chests in order for them to take an active leadership role.
One more very important thing. Brind'Amour has led his team to a Stanley Cup Championship, while Marleau has not.
What do you think? Should Rod Brind'Amour keep the captaincy, or is it time for new blood?
I am out of town this week but will still be checking in from time to time. If it takes me longer than normal to answer an email, please bear with me.
Finally, Matt Cullen's "Cully's Kids" foundation was the topic of a feature story at the NHLPA site yesterday. It's the fifth anniversary for his very special charity.