Hockey Jersey Captain Letters
Hockey Jersey Captain Letters – Often hockey is a very planned sport. If you’ve been following the sport for several years, you begin to catch the patterns of things, both on the ice and in the transaction machinations. Calling it predictable is probably too far, but you can risk educated guesswork on a lot of things and step right out a shadow half the time.
Hockey is also a very traditional sport. In many ways, old world thinking freezes the game when GM and other front office workers are often made up of the same handful of white North American men. The obvious rule changes take years, and the National Hockey League’s Player Safety Department is literally headed by a retired enforcer.
Hockey Jersey Captain Letters
Perhaps one area where these two NHL realities, scenario performance, and traditionalism overlap in ways that fans don’t mind is the team captain. Nowadays, stories of Marian Hossa helping a young frustrated Jonathan Toews in his early years as a captain or briefly curated by Sidney Crosby under Mario Lemieux are popular. These are the cases where we see the truth that rarely one guy does all the leadership work. Hockey demands will require a combination of experience, skill, patience, and perseverance from letter bearers. These combinations rarely come from one person.
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The C story has several golden eras with Buffalo Sabers. For the first sixteen years of the franchise’s history, temporary captains appeared season after season. The captains of those years were either the original Saber Gilbert Perreault or someone who imparted knowledge to Gilbert Perreault. Following his retirement, C dropped many fan favorites such as Lindy Ruff, Mike Foligno, Pat Lafontaine, Michael Peca, Stu Barnes and even the beloved Russian in Alexander Mogilny. Last time the Sabers were good enough to be contenders for the Cup, the title was shared by Danny Briere and Chris Drury. After they both lost to a free agency on that terrible day in 2007, the role saw a whole range of characters.
I loved Brian Gionta, who did not love Jason Pominville, but with the team in financial and ownership distress for a time, who had the letters from the T-shirt, similarly lacked direction. Craig Rivet became captain in 2008 and different fans have different opinions. It cannot be denied that the 2009-2010 team won the Northeast Division. Ten years later, the merry-go-round seemed to stop at last. When Jack Eichel became a full-time captain in 2018 after winning an A the previous season, it seemed like a coronation: here’s the man who will finally take us to the Stanley Cup.
We all know how it ended. Now Kyle Okposo and Zemgus Girgensons wear A as we move from one era to another again. What is the future of royal blue and golden C?
In a way, it does play out, right? The sequel to Craig Rivet may already be in progress with Alex Tuch. If Tuch is playing with a caliber close to that in Vegas, then the office at the KeyBank Center will have no problems inaugurating him with the captain. It makes too much sense: he’s a local boy (outside of Syracuse, which I think is local enough) who talks as a kid about being a Sabers fan with pictures of street hockey matches with Tim Connolly in his fingers. After this season, he has four more seasons left. He has experience in the Stanley Cup Final. If nothing else, the marketing angles are immaculate. Pegula Sports & Entertainment’s headquarters heard dollar signs on a T-shirt sale as soon as the trade was completed. Lest you be cynical for a while: it would be a bit of healing from losing a high expectation captain from New England to having a low expectation captain from Thruway. Even that felt cynical as I wrote this.
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All other names in the captains race must compete with the immediate spike in T-shirt sales that Captain Tuch would bring. The first of these candidates are of course the two current alternate captains: Zemgus Girgensons and Kyle Okposo. The incumbent probably helps a little to handle, but even less for fans. Kyle Okposo having scored a C would be a weird swan song for a heart and soul strangled player who just never lived up to the expectations he was saddled with when it was sold here five years ago. The Girgensons, on the other hand, would have captained the drought for centuries. Depending on how you talk about Mark Pysyk, the Girgensons are now the longest saber. All the time spent here was miserable, but it’s just too well liked. If he gets a C, the front office will have experience and fans will be able to remember this legendary 2015 All Star performance as mentors of the Latvian Locomotive (?) Of many young talents coming to Buffalo.
If Tuch is the front hand and the Girgensons or Okposo are experience types, this next category might be called the Young Guns Belt. The two guys in this group are the youngest options, and have made enough contributions on the ice to set an example. They are both playing with a style that is red meat for fans as well as for the front office.
Tage Thompson is a dark horse because he was a “disappointing” prospect of returning to trade for Ryan O’Reilly. This season in a hurry changed his fortunes after he moved to the center. Thompson leads the team in scoring goals and makes them able to tackle the toughness and fall in the way that Buffalo hockey fans have traditionally loved: really hard-working things like a lunch bucket. In Black Friday’s match against Montreal, Thompson rebounded immediately after he was leveled by a hard hitting on mid-ice before scoring the decisive goal. He even became furious with the offending opponent after driving him home:
Dylan Cozens, our second candidate for Young Guns Avenue, fights similarly and puts his body on the line. A Whitehorse workhorse is likely to develop a more consistent scoring approach as well. Few will forget last season’s Philadelphia fight, which looked like something out of a gladiatorial fight. He said the right things out of ice until I began to wonder if he was playing in the long campaign for C.
Placement Of The “c” On Jersey
The question about both of these guys is that they are so young that we cannot be sure who they will become, although we have many reasons to believe that they will be the league average or better. Out of these two contenders, fans would likely give Cozens an edge, while the front office likely believes Thompson would be the choice.
There aren’t many players on the NHL yet who can do the job a la Jack Quinn, Owen Power or even Peyton Krebs, but there are already too many variables here. We haven’t even talked about the dynamics implied when we talk about the interests of fans versus those of the front office.
This kind of guesswork is very dependent on the composition of the coaching staff and the vision of the CEO. Neither head coach Don Granato nor GM Kevyn Adams appear to be in the hot spot right now, and it would be a surprise if either of them were left in cans in the near future. On the other hand, it seems like we’ve said it many times over the past decade and seen it all fall apart quickly. Ralph Krueger’s shot may have been one Kevyn Adams shot. In other words, grandmasters in this league can very rarely fire more than one coach, especially among American franchises. As much as we love Don “Donny Meatballs” Granato now, it’s not hard to imagine that this set of players and perspectives will overwhelm his leadership in the distant future. Adams has done well in the hand he received since his start in 2020. He is a loyal supporter of Pegula and therefore arguably the safest GM in this role since Darcy Regier.
External expectations for this team are so low this season that nothing definitive on the captain’s front is likely until the training camp in September 2022 anyway. Even then, you could probably deal with a few substitutes for another year if needed. Certainly a lot can change during this time, and if the last decade of saber hockey has taught us anything, it doesn’t count the eggs before hatching.
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For us, the captain’s fans are a reason to be proud or nothing. There is simply no energy for anything in between. This means that if you are going to go with our warm guy, you need to get involved in this narrative. If we just give someone a C, I think fans are at the point where they don’t care less. To check the reality, just look at the average attendance this season.
This Captain Race is so hard to make it harder