In accordance with the prophecies, one John Tavares was officially named New York Islanders captain today before the Islanders annual charity golf outing.
A few notes from the presser, which was mercifully brief (there is charity golfing to do):
- Tavares first thanked Isles owner Charles Wang and GM Garth Snow "for your guidance, belief in me over the last four years." Consistent with those who buy into the program being grateful for the shot. (As if it was ever a question with Tavares.)
- He also named several coaches, crediting the staff with being "huge in my development ...making a great impact" him as a person and on his game. Although Tavares was born touched by the hand of God, this is true. His game has improved under the Isles.
- Will people treat him differently? "I don't think so. Being an assistant captain the last few years" -- and yes, he said assistant captain -- has put him in a leadership role already.
- Snow's statement says it all, really: Tavares is an elite player, a franchise leader, and a person who consistently represents the franchise with class and respect. Game, set, captain.
- Mostly the stuff you expect and should say on occasions like this: Great "honor, responsibility," respect for those who came before him (including personal mentorship by previous captains Doug Weight and Mark Streit), and the goal "remains the same": Bring the Cup back to Long Island.
- Newsday notes Tavares is the first homegrown captain since Bryan McCabe. Goodness, it's as if the Islanders are developing and keeping their own young talent again.
Press Conference/Announcement Video
Previous Islanders Captains
Years listed are captaincy tenures, not Isles tenures
- Mark Streit (2011-13), the Swiss free agent score
- Doug Weight (2009-11), the mentor, landlord, powerplay designer, future assistant coach and holder of many titles
- Bill Guerin (2007-09), the Ryan Smyth replacement and eventual trade bait, he showed up for a press conference and found a "C" on his chest
- Alexei Yashin (2005-07), maligned, eventually bought out, maybe not a prototypical captain but a star to be sure, his later title became Ambassador of Preseason "Skating at Iceworks" Rumors
- Michael Peca (2001-04), the gritty two-way conscience selected as captain over Yashin when both were acquired
- Kenny Jonsson (1999-2000), an Isles great but never one comfortable with the C
- Trevor Linden (1998-99), a vet who took his trade to the Isles like a pro, instead of going Kirk Muller. Karmic reward awaits him
- Bryan McCabe (1997-98), the aforementioned homegrown captain had a very good NHL career after Milbury gave up on him
- Patrick Flatley (1992-96), joined the Isles a year too late for the dynasty, captained them through the lean but pre-disastrous years
- Brent Sutter (1987-92), the most skilled Sutter, gamely led the team until the fall of 1992's LaFontaine/Sutter selloff
- Denis Potvin (1979-87), who always thought he was the greatest anyway -- and to be fair, he really was -- gained the "C" after Gillies said "alright, enough."
- Clark Gillies (1977-79), stepped aside as captain after a few massive playoff disappointments for the team
- Ed Westfall (1972-77), the original "The Captain," the face of the early years and a mentor bringing his own Cup experience over from...some other team
What will John Tavares' parenthetical years be? What will we put after his name on a future list like this? Hopefully we don't find out for many, many years, and hopefully it is all righteous and glorious. We'll go back to the well and say it will be more, bigger, better moments like this: