As we wait patiently (read: gnashing our teeth and sacrificing our sobriety ritually) for hockey to return, if it ever does at all, we will be looking forward to the future, whatever that may hold.
And for the Boston Bruins, one very underdiscussed matter about said future is a rather uncomfortable topic...who’s next as captain?
The thing is that while it seems obvious, the thing is that the Bruins are a team that has only occasionally had such things as “stability” at this position; Thoughout the history of the team, the average length of a Bruins captaincy is just under 5 years. Only Dit Clapper, Ray Bourque, and Zdeno Chara have ever had it for more than a decade, but the legacies they carry are often hard to overcome for the next guy. It often passes from player to player until the next obvious leader comes along who holds it forever. At least a generation or two of children do not remember a time in which the current captain, Big Z himself, was not the captain of the Boston Bruins.
It’s gonna be a big deal when he has to give up the reigns...so who should it be?
The Obvious Choice: Patrice Bergeron - C
Reasons why he should be: Longest tenured athlete in Boston, Literally the best player on the team at any strength, probably one of the best centers to ever play hockey at this point, universally beloved by fans and players alike, has been earmarked for this for almost a decade.
Reasons why he shouldn’t be: Idk, you’re a Habs fan, a troll, or you’re a monster.
Honestly, if there was any criticism you might give, it’s that the dude could very easily be the guy to suggest another player on the team. Which is all the more reason to pin it to his sweater and make sure it sticks.
The Safe (but temporary) Choice: David Krejci - C
Reasons why he should be: Might be just as much of an institution of the team as someone like Bergeron or Chara. Knows how to successfully find that sixth gear in the playoffs, has successfully brought dozens of players up around him and can adapt to new situations seemingly at will, being a pass-first center will lead him to being hailed as most giving captain in NHL history
Reasons why he shouldn’t be: Has stated in the past that this is probably his last NHL contract, which ends...next year, so he would only be a transitional captain for another player, which at that point you might as well have just given it to that player anyway. Also something something defense something something scoring.
The Choice of the future!: Charlie McAvoy - D
Reasons why he should be: Choice for both the now and the future, has been learning from Chara for the past few years, Local (for a given definition of it) boy, capable of surprisingly crushing hits to keep the boys on the bench awake, Will be the #1 defender once Chara calls it a career, and this team loves them some defenseman captains
Reasons why he shouldn’t be: Not a player who’s offensive contributions count towards the scoreboard much, still needs to do some growing as a player in regards to discipline,
The Local Pick: Charlie Coyle - C
Reasons why he should be: Is from here, solid 2-way player, has been making chicken salad out of whoever’s been his wingers for the past year or so, excellent playoff performer.
Reasons why he shouldn’t be: Even with the fans he’s grown, he hasn’t been in Boston nearly long enough to justify it other than clear favoritism or pandering, which would be a DISTRACTION.
The Trolling Pick: Brad Marchand - LW
Reasons why he should be: The reaction to the news would be hysterical.
Reasons why he shouldn’t be: The thinkpieces on where the league is going in terms of discipline and how it rewards players who skirt and cross the line will be unbearable. And Marshy will not make his case easy.
The Sneaky Pick: Torey Krug - D
Reasons why he should be: Staple of development camps as the local veteran in the room, involved in the community, literally the lynchpin on the Boston Bruins power play, professional and advocate for cooler heads in stressful situations, a teeny tiny dude completely willing to go to bat for his team physically in spite of being 5’9 should make you want to run through a brick wall for him, underrated trash talker, Named his dog Fenway.
Reasons why he shouldn’t be: An undersized offensive defenseman on the Boston Bruins being the captain would likely start widespread protests. Also, will need to be re-signed for term if the goal is to have him be a leader. If Bobby Orr could only make it to Alternate captain? Krug doesn’t have a prayer. Will also not create darkly hilarious post-playoffs pictures at Canobie Lake as he is not tall enough to ride the rides.
The Spicy Pick: Tuukka Rask - G
Reasons why he should be: Stone cold leader, everyone already comes up to him and interacts with him pre-and-post game, long-fuse temper will absolutely keep team in line, Imagine the sick new addition to his helmet!
Imagine how Toronto fans might react.
Reasons why he shouldn’t be: Stupid NHL rules that frankly should just be canned. Also, has insinuated that the contract he’s on right now will be his last, so you will have to look for a new captain sooner than later.
Well, who would you pick? Would you even have a captain after Chara hangs his skates up?
If it isn’t Patrice Bergeron, then who?