Oh Captain, My Captain

[Ed Note: Godard Suspended 10 games, Gillies 9, Martin 4 and Isles fined 100K will post more in the morning. Also Prospect Report will be on Monday morning due to Sunday's game]

With the possible impending retirement of Doug Weight, the Islanders are going to need a new captain for next season. Unless Weight returns this season (looking doubtful) he will go down as having the least amount of games played as Islanders captain. He has currently played a total of 54 games during his two years as captain, putting him behind even Bryan McCabe (56) and Much maligned Trevor Linden (82). But his influence on this young team and long term contributions to the Islanders will overshadow what he did on the ice.

The possible candidates for captain next year appear to be pretty short. Discounting Rick DiPietro's chances of being named captain, the longest tenured Islanders are Radek Martinek and Trent Hunter. Either might make good alternates, but they weren't captain material even before considering their health history. The Islanders also don't have a history of bringing someone in to be captain, with only Michael Peca, Bill Guerin and Trevor Linden wearing the C without previously being Islanders.

There are probably two realistic candidates for the captaincy next year. There are of course quite a few dark horse candidates, mostly because we do not know yet who will be the coach next year. It's also due to the Islanders drafting better character players in recent years. They are definitely starting to show the results, but most of them are still a bit young to be considered.

The Frontrunners


Mark Streit

#2 / Defenseman / New York Islanders

6-0

197

Dec 11, 1977



Streit has got to be considered the most likely next captain.

Positives: Twice named captain of the Swiss team at the Olympics. Has been captain of the Swiss team at the World Championships. Has been an alternate captain with the Islanders since October 2009. Workhorse player whose ability and talent has been unquestioned since joining the Islanders.

Negative: The only thing I can think of is if your worried about the long term repercussions of his injury.


Kyle Okposo

#21 / Right Wing / New York Islanders

6-1

200

Apr 16, 1988



Definitely in the running, but probably quite a bit behind Streit.

Positives: Has been Alternate Captain of the Islanders since October 2009. He has also been named as alternate captain in tournaments for Team USA. Although he doesn't have the resume of Streit, you can't deny the passion he brings to the rink. Would be more of a lead by example type.

Negatives: Still relatively young, next year would only be his 4th full season with the Islanders. Also his Entry Level contract is up this year, a new captain would hopefully have a multi-year deal.

Darkhorses


John Tavares

#91 / Center / New York Islanders

6-0

202

Sep 20, 1990



The league is moving towards top young players being given the C younger and younger.

Positives: He was team captain of the Oshawa Generals in 2008 and alternate with the Canadian Junior team in 2009. Is considered the future of the franchise.

Negatives: If you thought Okposo might be too young, then JT more then likely is. He also has more then enough pressure on him already. With all the rotating of the As this year, I don't think JT has even worn the A once.


Josh Bailey

#12 / Left Wing / New York Islanders

6-1

201

Oct 02, 1989



Another promising youngster hoped to be a cornerstone of the franchise

Positives: He was captain of the Windsor Spitfires. Lots of positive reports from outside sources about his leadership ability before the draft.

Negatives: Look up any post lately on this site about Josh Bailey, he has a lot to work on without being named captain. Like JT he also hasn't worn one of the As at all this season.


Frans Nielsen

#51 / Center / New York Islanders

6-0

187

Apr 24, 1984



The One, The Only Great Dane

Positives: He's been the alternate quite a few times this year for the Islanders. Underrated, but that is slowly changing especially as he was rated 2nd most underrated in the league in a players poll. I believe he's been captain (or at least alternate) of Team Denmark at the world championships.

Negatives: Tends to be quiet and unassuming, it seems like the alternate fits him perfectly.


Andrew MacDonald

#47 / Defenseman / New York Islanders

6-1

201

Sep 07, 1986



The fiery defenseman has been making a name for himself this year.

Positives: I can't find any references to him being an alternate or a captain previous to his time with the Islanders. His road to the NHL hasn't been easy. Undrafted by the QMJHL, he worked his way onto Montcon before being drafted by the Islanders. Spent time in the ECHL before making Bridgeport and finally the Islanders. Since becoming the Islanders de facto #1 defenseman has been a vocal leader on and off the ice.

Negatives: Only in his second full season with the Islanders. His health is worrying too, as he has missed major amounts of time both this season and last.

The Longshots


Zenon Konopka

#28 / Center / New York Islanders

6-0

209

Jan 02, 1981



The Big Z is passionate

Positives: For someone who only signed a one year deal, he loves to defend the franchise. From calling out a TSN reporter to complaining about lack of calls for runs on JT, Z has been vocal.

Negatives: A UFA at the end of the year, and largely used as an enforcer and faceoff specialist and not much else. Also leads the league in PIM.


Trevor Gillies

#14 / Left Wing / New York Islanders

6-3

227

Jan 30, 1979



The master of the mustache ride

Positives: Trevor-gillies-o_medium

Negatives: Unfortunately not a full time player.

 

For those who might have been an alternate during the season like Mike Mottau and Mark Eaton, I think the Islanders are looking for more of a long term solution instead of another two year stopgap. Hopefully they are looking for the same in a coach, so the future coach/captain combo can help bring the team to the promised land for years to come.

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