The question of when the Blue Jackets will name the fifth captain in franchise history is almost as compelling a question as who will eventually don the “C.”
Last week Dispatch reporter Aaron Portzline informed us there were no plans to pick Rick Nash’s successor for “the foreseeable future.”
“I’m coming into camp with my eyes wide open, watching,” coach Todd Richards told the newspaper. “I want to see if we have somebody ready for that. I’m not going to pick a captain just because every team has to have a captain. For me, it has to be the right guy, or you don’t do it.”
Richards’ players certainly sound like they’re hoping it won’t take long to find the right guy. “I’ve had good captains in my career, and I think it’s important,” stated forward Brandon Dubinsky.
Dubinsky is considered to be a good candidate for the job, as is defenseman Jack Johnson, who in July was under the assumption someone would be given the honor during the offseason.
“Whoever the captain is, there’s still going to be leadership by committee,” Johnson expressed at the time, “It’s not going to be one guy pulling the way. It’s going to be a lot of guys.”
Since then, he’s become a little more vocal about his desire to see a captain named, telling the Dispatch, “At some point, I feel like you do have to put a stake in the ground.”
Media Day for the Blue Jackets is today. Players will undergo physicals and fitness training tomorrow before their first on-ice work on Thursday.
That’s all leading up to the team’s first preseason game against the Penguins on Sunday.
If there’s no announcement regarding the captaincy before then, Dubinsky at least understands why. It’s not going to be an easy decision.
“We have a lot of guys who are capable of that honor,” he conceded. In the end, though?
“In the end, the cream always rises to the top,” he said. “Somebody is going to expose himself as the guy who says the right thing at the right time, goes out and demonstrates by example on the ice, and somebody that guys are going to look towards.”