Thursday, May 18, 2006

Another Round

Well we start the conference finals Friday. The Ducklings host the Oil in the west. Carolina take on Buffalo back east.

Some more invites to the Captains Club have been revoked. Joe Sakic, of course, but he’s a member already.

Patrick Marleau. Hold your head up high. You are a great leader on a great young team. I suspect you are going to have several more opportunities to be invited into the club in the coming years.

Interesting the NJ Devils do not have a player who wears the ‘C.’ Had they won likely the cup would have been passed from Bettman to either Elias or Madden. Other teams have won the cup with no ‘C.’ For example, the Bruins with Phil Esposito and Bobby Orr won in ’70 and 72 with no player wearing the ‘C.’

The other player to have his invite rescinded was Daniel Alfredsson. This one creates the most buzz. For whatever reason there is a bias towards Canadians in the Captains Club. In fact if you forget those Scottish and even one Russian born players from back in the 1800’s and early 1900’s every Stanley Cup champion has been Captained by a Canadian – with one exception Derian Hatcher an American – Dallas Stars in 1999. Even this distinction has a footnote. Many believe Mike Modano was the Captain of that team – he is also American. Others say Hatcher was injured in the final series and that the ‘C’ was worn by Joe Nieuwendyk – a Canadian when the cup was passed to the winners. For my money Hatcher receives full credit for being the only modern era, non Canadian, cup winning Captain.

Alfy, of any European born Captain, plays the game, in my opinion the most like a Canadian. He’s a former Calder Trophy winner. He’s had 56 points and 58 penalty minutes in 79 playoff games. Will Alfredsson get another chance to win? Most likely he will. Will it be as a Captain? I suspect not.



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