Features

Blue Jackets looking for 'right guy' to be captain

Friday, 09.06.2013 / 7:00 AM / Features
NHL.com

The Columbus Blue Jackets played last season without a captain following the offseason trade that sent Rick Nash to the New York Rangers. They might do so again in 2013-14.

"I'm coming into camp with my eyes wide open, watching," coach Todd Richards told the Columbus Dispatch when asked about naming a captain. "I want to see if we have somebody ready for that."

Asked if the team might go captain-less for a second straight season, Richards said, "I'm not saying yes or no to that. But 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."

President of hockey operations John Davidson agreed that finding the right player was more important than merely having a captain.

"It's a very unique decision, and there's no handbook out there for it," Davidson told the Dispatch. "Even if there is, you don't have to follow it unless somebody really pops out at you."

The 2012-13 season was one of transition in Columbus. In addition to the trade that sent Nash, holder of most of the franchise's scoring records, to New York, there were major changes at the top of the organization. Davidson was hired, and Jarmo Kekalainen replaced Scott Howson as general manager.

The lockout-shortened 48-game season didn't start until January, and the Blue Jackets barely missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs after a strong late-season run, losing out to the Minnesota Wild on a tiebreaker in the race for the eighth berth in the Western Conference.

"I liked what we did last year, not rushing into naming [a captain]," Richards said. "It brought more guys into the mix as far as taking ownership and leading the team.

"For me, it's no different right now than last year. My whole thing is, I'm approaching it like it's a huge decision, making sure you have the right guy, that he's capable and ready of doing the things that are necessary of a captain. It's not a small or easy decision to make."

Defenseman Jack Johnson and forward Brandon Dubinsky are regarded as the most likely candidates to get the "C."

"This is the first time I've ever played on a team that didn't have [a captain]," Johnson said. "Obviously, they're going to take their time with it, and it's up to them. But at some point, I feel like you do have to put a stake in the ground."

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Johnson 3 3 1 1 4
B. Dubinsky 3 0 4 0 4
M. Calvert 3 2 1 3 3
R. Johansen 3 1 2 0 3
B. Jenner 3 1 2 -1 3
D. Savard 3 0 3 1 3
C. Atkinson 3 1 1 1 2
D. MacKenzie 3 1 0 0 1
M. Letestu 3 1 0 0 1
J. Skille 3 0 1 -1 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Bobrovsky 1 2 0 .904 3.32
 
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