Red Wings not naming captain for 2018-19, delaying inevitable

Bold strategy.

The Detroit Red Wings will not be naming a team captain for the 2018-19 season. This comes on the heels of Detroit legend and Red Wing captain Henrik Zetterberg announcing his retirement a few weeks back on account of his back condition.

And just ask @BartsoolBigCat, back problems are nothing to joke about. Even drinking water can be a tough task to handle.

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The absence of Zetterberg leaves a huge and noticeable void in the heart of Detroit sports as the last MVP of a Detroit championship-winning squad. That leaves the city with Justin Abdelkader, Jonathon Ericsson, Darren Helm, Jimmy Howard and Niklas Kronwall as the only Detroit champions still playing for a Detroit team. It’s now been over a decade since Detroit celebrated the end of a season with a parade down Woodward Ave and the fans are getting restless. We need hope.

It also leaves a huge hole in locker-room with the leadership, dedication and stability Zetterberg brought to a young, rebuilding team.

It’s now been over a decade since Detroit celebrated the end of a season with a parade down Woodward Ave and the fans are getting restless. We need something to hang our hats on to be able to say our future is bright. We need hope.

Naming Dylan Larkin the captain of the Red Wings at 22-years-old would send the message that his time is now. He’s not the ‘future,’ he’s the ‘now.’ The thought that maybe he’s “not ready” or “not mature enough” is simply delaying the inevitable. After this season Larkin will absolutely unequivocally be named the captain. It’s just a completely different feeling carrying yourself around the building when you’re known as the captain of the Red Wings. The bravado increases 10x like Popeye after eating his spinach.

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It’ll make the fire under his ass a little hotter and make him work that much harder to set the example for the rest of the squad. Make the kid the captain. Let him develop like Steve Yzerman. Let him learn on-the-fly. Let him get comfortable wearing the “C” on his jersey and answering media questions as the undoubted leader of the organization. Let him lead the city to three Stanley Cups. Fine by me.

Now we did see a similar situation play out in Edmonton when Connor McDavid first entered the league. At 19-years-old the Edmonton Oilers named McDavid their captain after he played just 45 games in his first season. But it was so obvious that this guy was not just the future of the Oilers, he’s very likely the future face of the NHL right up there with the likes of Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin.

The fans are aware that Larkin is the definite future of the Red Wings. The players know. The coaches know. The Illitch’s know. So why wait? Make it happen and speed up this rebuild.

 

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