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Captaincy And Alternate Captaincy Discussion 2008-09

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Koivu, Kovalev, and Higgins. Anything else will just create problems.

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I agree... Markov isn't captain material in my opinion, he's a lil too hard headed and comes across as having a superiority complex. He's a great player, we're lucky to have him on the blueline, but you don't want him in he "C" or "A" postion. I remember a game last year, he was on the bench, Jarvis was trying to give him some advice and he just sat there, chewing on his mouth guard, rolling his eyes. He lacks a lil respect when it comes to authority, you can't put someone like that in a position of authority.

Hahahahaha! Awesome!

I can picture it now. Him sitting there, rolling his eyes.

Give him the "A" I say! :lol:

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Here's my three.

KOIVU- When i think of captaincy, i think of respect. Koivu is well respected by teammates, other teams players, the organization, fans, etc. You need to have a guy that can lead by example which koivu's big balls in a small frame style fits, aswell as his offensive talent but most importantly somebody who can direct his team as he and the coach see fit. When somebody is not executing plays the right away koivu has the qualities to tell that player to smarten up without coming off as a nag like a coach can. When the team is need of moral boosting speech, koivu from what i've seen, looks like the guy to give it. Aside from just talent i believe koivu has the best mix of qualities that make him our great leader.

KOVALEV- its not for his work ethic that he's portrayed over his career. ;) He gets his for talent alone IMHO.

In terms of pure skill and talent. Kovy is possibly the best we've had since 70's and 80's. He has matured since being in montreal and has dropped the ego abit and has turned to playing for the glory rather than the pay from what it looks like. His talent is respected by all in the NHL and that is why he is alternate captain.

HIGGINS- Well higgins doesn't have amazing skill but he is respected, why? well its hard to put a finger on it but from what i've seen and heard he is well educated and has a good character. I remember seeing a post game interview (when he was on those exercise bikes:lol: ) after a loss and said in somewhat disgust "we can't keep losing one winning one" and "Good teams string wins together". To me that spoke volumes. He said "Good teams" that means not the habs and we all know you should never insult your own team but he said it in a way that just made sense and didn't come off offensive to myself as a fan and i'm guessing the rest of the team. He is an educated player, has a good heart and a good work ethic which many teammates i think respect. These qualities make him a suitable 2nd alternate captain.

Runners-up or possible future alternates or even captain.

Komisarek- Has good qualites but i think has too much of a "listen and repeat" mentality, it's alittle too fake and apparent in his interviews and seems to lack his own personnality. But even than he's tied with higgins because he brings more to the team at the moment than higgins does but higgins happened to be chosen over komisarek. IHMO

Kostopoulos- Is a hard nosed worker and has a good personnality but doesn't have a big enough role to be a leader.

Markov- Has a great skill set and is one of the best D-men we've had since Chelios but as someone has said in a

previous post, he seems to have a superiority complex and i too see it in him. If or untill he matures out of that ego, i wouldn't give him the "C" or the "A" for that matter.

Hamrlik- simple, hasn't been long enough with the organization. If he had than i would think he would be a candidate. (Im not for a new player being placed captain or even alternate unless he is of a certain level in which he has proven his leadership on another team).

Chipchura and Gorges- Inexperienced but are future candidates.

No others are noteworthy IMO.

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No offense to Higgins, but he talks a better game than he plays right now. Sure, he's articulate and media-friendly, and is always in the dressing-room willing to speak after a win or a loss, but I've rarely seen him raise his own game a level and lead by example on the ice, and that's what you want from your leadership group. Not just saying the right thing in front of the camera, but doing it in a game situation.

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This should'nt be even up for debate,in my opinion,this is koivu's team,has been since he was chosen to wear the C, for all he has done for the team,on and off the ice and for all the obstacles that he had to over come through the years,he's always given it all.Now,when it looks very promising for our team in reaching the cup,when we'll getting better and improving our team and chances to bring home the cup is looking very promising,so why is it now that some feel that the C may not be koivu's to keep? I hope and do expect #11 will finished his time in montreal as our captain.....oh yea,look,there's our captain #11 hoisting the cup at center ice,pretty awsome eh. :D GO HABS GO....

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No offense to Higgins, but he talks a better game than he plays right now. Sure, he's articulate and media-friendly, and is always in the dressing-room willing to speak after a win or a loss, but I've rarely seen him raise his own game a level and lead by example on the ice, and that's what you want from your leadership group. Not just saying the right thing in front of the camera, but doing it in a game situation.

Exactly. Higgins competes, skates hard, and does everything within his power to help the team but he's not a difference maker on the ice IMO.

I'm not saying he needs to pot 50 goals to be considered for captaincy but raising his game in clutch situations is something he hasn't shown yet. Thus, as of now, no thanks. Komisarek would definitely the better option as far as I'm concerned.

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Koivu, Kovalev, and Higgins. Anything else will just create problems.

agreed ....keep it the way it is ..this team did well last year and Higgy IMO would be taking a step backwards in his development if the A was given to someone else....the new guys Lang Tangy and Laraque are coming into our kitchen ..lets see how the next 2 or three years develop

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No offense to Higgins, but he talks a better game than he plays right now. Sure, he's articulate and media-friendly, and is always in the dressing-room willing to speak after a win or a loss, but I've rarely seen him raise his own game a level and lead by example on the ice, and that's what you want from your leadership group. Not just saying the right thing in front of the camera, but doing it in a game situation.

the next step for higgins is to show up in the playoffs

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captain - koivu

assistant - kovalev

assistant - komisarek/higgins/markov (doesn't matter to me, all are equally deserving)

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ECHO!!!

This is Koivu's team. Any player that can't get any inspiration from what he has gone through and done on this team - has been in a deep, dark hole.

Kovalev - well what can you say (cause he always has allot to say) - luv him or hate him - he still carries an aura above him and is a good choice in my books.

On to Higgans - New breed! Too bad he had a rough season last year because we probably would not be doubting him as an 'A' at all. But, I still say his work ethic is solid and I'm sticking my neck out to say - he's going to prove it this year. Good choice.

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captain - koivu

assistant - kovalev

assistant - komisarek/higgins/markov (doesn't matter to me, all are equally deserving)

Agree. Maybe a rotating "A" or two different for home and away could bestow the position on the deserving players.

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No offense to Higgins, but he talks a better game than he plays right now. Sure, he's articulate and media-friendly, and is always in the dressing-room willing to speak after a win or a loss, but I've rarely seen him raise his own game a level and lead by example on the ice, and that's what you want from your leadership group. Not just saying the right thing in front of the camera, but doing it in a game situation.

I disagree. Koivu does a great job of leading by example and raising his game, Kovalev seems to make the young euros accountable and cranks it up at playoff time and Higgins is the media guy. He is the most articulate polished player on the team and is perfect for our media market, if he learns french they should slap the C on him in 2-3 years when Koivu retires. I think they form a well balanced leadership group.

He does great in interviews and unlike our other 2 veteran stars he has yet to cause a media storm with his words, extremely difficult to do in our town. Fully deserves the "A" and that ability to raise your game comes with time. Also, he is not nearly as skilled as K/K so his game is always effort dependent, it's hard to imagine him trying much harder out there. The vets sometimes throw it into cruise which is why it appears they crank it up for the playoffs, but really instead of giving 98% effort they dig a bit deeper and find that extra 2 percent.

Future: Komisarek as an alternate and by that time if Plekanec shows up for the playoffs he'd be a candidate, or Chipchura/Gorges.

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If he learns french they should slap the C on him in 2-3 years when Koivu retires. I think they form a well balanced leadership group.

What?

And why do people think it is that important to be able to please the media in order to be a captain? IMO a captain should just always bring his A-game and be respected by his teammates.

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I don't disagree with you Weep but I wouldn't do it just because of the negitive effect it may have on Higgins. I think Higgins is a good leader as well. I like Komi better but to go as far as to strip the A for Higgins I would need to see more wrong with him which I don't. We are fortunate to have so many possbiley candiates for letters on this team. We have a great group of guys who seem to be comited to the ulitimate goal and buy into it by helping each other and leading in some way. It seems as the team has bought in to Carbos system as well as the words above the locker room door.

Its too bad we are not allowed 5 As lol. Komi will get his letter in time for sure I am not sure how Gainey brings back all of Koivu, Kovalev, Higgins and Komisarek next year especially since he has to worry about Tanguay and Plekanec as well.

to strip the A off of Higgins is almost as bad as stripping Koivu the C when he got injured last season and gave it to Kovalev. To this day I'm still wondering why they did that. They didn't even do that when he had cancer. They didn't know if he would even live, let alone come back to play hockey that season.

In my opinion Koivu's done too much for the city and the team to strip him of his captaincy.

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to strip the A off of Higgins is almost as bad as stripping Koivu the C when he got injured last season and gave it to Kovalev. To this day I'm still wondering why they did that. They didn't even do that when he had cancer. They didn't know if he would even live, let alone come back to play hockey that season.

In my opinion Koivu's done too much for the city and the team to strip him of his captaincy.

And that, my friend, is exactly why they gave it to Kovalev. Because they knew Koivu would be back, okay, better than ever. So why not have a captain while he was gone? When he was terminally ill the gesture would have been too metaphorical, in a way. It would have been very inappropriate to, "Give up," on Koivu when he was extremely ill. Recently he just had a busted foot, and lots of teams pass the "C" to someone when the captain is out with an injury. ;)

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And that, my friend, is exactly why they gave it to Kovalev. Because they knew Koivu would be back, okay, better than ever. So why not have a captain while he was gone? When he was terminally ill the gesture would have been too metaphorical, in a way. It would have been very inappropriate to, "Give up," on Koivu when he was extremely ill. Recently he just had a busted foot, and lots of teams pass the "C" to someone when the captain is out with an injury. ;)

perfect explanation, im sure it was in no way a slight to saku, more of a gesture to kovy who did truly deserve that honour

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to strip the A off of Higgins is almost as bad as stripping Koivu the C when he got injured last season and gave it to Kovalev. To this day I'm still wondering why they did that. They didn't even do that when he had cancer. They didn't know if he would even live, let alone come back to play hockey that season.

In my opinion Koivu's done too much for the city and the team to strip him of his captaincy.

I've always felt that way also. You're the first person I've seen to bring up that point but I've been wondering as well why they did it. I've always referenced when he had cancer also and how they didn't replace him. I thought that was the right thing to do and they were wrong to give it to Kovalev last year. To me you have to stick with your Captain no matter what, that's what being the Captain is all about. It's a great honor to wear the C for this team and you can't go around giving it to just anyone. Being the Captain is about more than just on the ice. It's about more than the actual 'C' that is sewed onto your jersey. It's something you always carry with you whether it's an off-day, the offseason, or you're injured. The Captain is always the Captain whether he's able to be on the ice or not.

It's always bothered me when any team gives away their C like that, not just our Habs. Watching Kovalev wear it last year was one of the hardest things for me to see as a Habs fan.

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While I agree that Koivu should be the captain as long as he is a Hab I don't agree that it was wrong to give the C to Kovalev when Koivu was injured last year. Kovalev was a leader on the team last year and was leading by example almost every night. Carbs gave it to him as a reward for his hard work that year and IMO he did a good job wearing it when Koivu was out. Some of the hardest working games he played was when he wore the C last year.

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IMO Koivu is the captain so long as he is a member of the Montreal Canadiens. I personally did not have a problem when Kovalev was given the C when Koivu was injuried. Everyone knew that the C was only temporarily with Kovalev. I hope Koivu retires in 3 to 6 years with the "C" on his sweater.

Currently Higgins and Kovalev have the "A". There are several other very good players on the Canadiens that could have the "A" based on skill. However wearing the "A" should not only be based on ice skill but locker room presence. At the moment I would keep the "A" with the current players. If Higgins is traded then my guess is that Markov or Hammer would be the player given the responsibility to wear the A. Same goes for Kovalev except he might leave as UFA to another team. I am 99.9% sure that Guy Lafleur never worn the "A" for Montreal. Skill is not the only reason a player is given the "A".

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this is getting scary because a good part of the question is who does a fan of TO, or OTT, or BOS think the capt is?

to my mind that leaves saku as capt, kovalev and komi as a's.

the reason to look at what other's think is to help the state of officiating, which as we all know has been a VERY sore point.

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Here is a list of four possible candidates that I see as potential captains in the future:

Chris Higgins

While Higgins may have grown up on Long Island and gone to Yale, but he’s bled “bleu, blanc et rouge” since he was a kid. He’s a great all around player like Saku, and was given the alternate “A” last season in recognition of his leadership. Hard to believe that this season will only be his 4th, and year over year Higgins has only improved. 


Mike Komisarek

Komisarek may not put up the points like other defenseman, he displays courage and determination with his pounding body checks, and tenacious shot blocking. Great traits that you’d want in any leader.



Kyle Chipchura

He’s already had experience as captain of Canada’s gold medal World Junior Hockey team in 2005. At the time, Head Coach Brent Sutter said: “He’s a heart and soul guy and when you have a team that is perhaps lacking some experience at the national level, which obviously we are, you need a real strong character and real strong person mentally that’s totally committed to the way we want to play. He’s probably a huge reflection of myself.” Great compliment from a former NHL captain.

Carey Price

Now that the Canucks have broken the mold with Luongo, why not? As time passes, there is no doubt that this team will become his team just as Luongo is to the Canucks. He’s not really a personality to stand up and take charge of a team in the dressing room, but his actions on the ice demonstrate that he has an incredible passion for the game and a strong desire to be the best. And he’s already got a “C” on his helmet ;-)

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Here is a list of four possible candidates that I see as potential captains in the future:

Chris Higgins

While Higgins may have grown up on Long Island and gone to Yale, but he’s bled “bleu, blanc et rouge” since he was a kid. He’s a great all around player like Saku, and was given the alternate “A” last season in recognition of his leadership. Hard to believe that this season will only be his 4th, and year over year Higgins has only improved. 


Mike Komisarek

Komisarek may not put up the points like other defenseman, he displays courage and determination with his pounding body checks, and tenacious shot blocking. Great traits that you’d want in any leader.



Kyle Chipchura

He’s already had experience as captain of Canada’s gold medal World Junior Hockey team in 2005. At the time, Head Coach Brent Sutter said: “He’s a heart and soul guy and when you have a team that is perhaps lacking some experience at the national level, which obviously we are, you need a real strong character and real strong person mentally that’s totally committed to the way we want to play. He’s probably a huge reflection of myself.” Great compliment from a former NHL captain.

Carey Price

Now that the Canucks have broken the mold with Luongo, why not? As time passes, there is no doubt that this team will become his team just as Luongo is to the Canucks. He’s not really a personality to stand up and take charge of a team in the dressing room, but his actions on the ice demonstrate that he has an incredible passion for the game and a strong desire to be the best. And he’s already got a “C” on his helmet ;-)

Of that list, I'll say cross Price out right away: since hockey does not make the captain purely honourary, the captain has duties to perform on the ice and bench that he can't do from the end of the rink. If he can't do the job, don't give it to him.

Chipchura, I guess it depends when Koivu leaves, if it's not for 3-5 more years, maybe. Personally, I don't really care for making checking line players captains, just because I think you want the player to be someone your young player should strive to be, and you want most to be top line players. Many will disagree, it's just my personal opinion.

Higgins wouldn't be bad. The only thing I don't like is he's still fairly young and I don't like in interviews how he never seems to take responsibility for his own poor play at times.

Komisarek is my favourite choice on that list. He's got the most experience, he does everything you'd expect out of a defenseman, he sacrifices his body on the ice, is a good speaker, and overall is the type of player I think you want as captain.

But ... I think there is a clear prejudice here, and in general when talking about captains, against European players. Maybe it's because they don't speak english so well at first, maybe it's because they are thought of as 'soft', maybe because they don't give as great of an itnerview, I'm not sure. But for whatever reason, we don't think of our young Europeans as leaders. For example, people always say "Markov's not a leader" - yet for whatever reason Carbo has made him the alternate-alternate captain. Relating to the original post, in a few years I think someone like Sergei Kostitsyn could be on that list. He never backs down one the ice, is a hard worker, and is someone who I think younger players could potentially strive to be in the future. He kind of reminds me of Koivu in a way. Right now his English isn't so good, but that will probably improve, yet no one ever mentions him as a potential captain, even though he has more NHL games than Chipchura.

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