Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Did I mention we're also naming you captain?

Through the innovation that is Islander TV, I was able to see the presser where Billy Guerin was given his brand new jersey complete with number 13 and the captains "C" to boot. I was surprised with the appointment and apparently Guerin was too. In his introduction speech Guerin mentioned that Garth Snow informed him of the decision at lunch yesterday, but Guerin was still "completely surprised, but thrilled about this tremendous honor." Honor indeed. Guerin will follow the lineage of former great Isles captains like Bryan McCabe, Trevor Linden, Kenny Jonsson, and of course Alexei Yashin.

Of course I've never played in the show and I am sure there is a certain equation when a captain is named to an NHL squad, but is it just me or should've Snow and Nolan maybe waited until training camp to see how Guerin interacts with his teammates before giving him the leadership role? Let's look at some other candidates for the captaincy that could have been chosen instead. Mike Sillinger wore the "A" last year and is a veteran player, but he's bounced around a lot and probably has a spare suitcase already packed just in case Garth calls him up and says he's been traded for the 6,391st time. So Sillinger fits in as a good choice for the "A" but not the "C." Next up is Brendan Witt who also wore the "A" last year. He's served as a captain before in Washington, but he also wears number 32 to honor the player he looked up to in Washington, Dale Hunter. As an Isles fan, I'm gonna have to pass on the Witt as captain campaign. After that its slim pickings in the veteran leadership department, maybe Trent Hunter but he doesn't exactly have a captain-esque resume but for the future he could mature into an NHL captain.

With that being said, I guess Bill Guerin as captain makes sense, there really is no other quality choice. Guerin's a veteran in the league, well respected, and puts up good numbers. Now his playoff performances leave a lot to be desired but before we discuss those merits, well the Islanders will need to make the post season first.

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