Many fans were pretty surprised when news broke this week that Detroit Red Wings‘ GM Steve Yzerman had made the decision not to name a team captain for the 2019-2020 season.
Instead, the Red Wings will be going with four alternates this coming season as Yzerman takes his time to get to know the players on his roster, including the guy everyone thought would be named captain, Dylan Larkin.
Most figured it was just a matter of time before Yzerman made the announcement that Larkin would be the Red Wings next captain, but that obviously was not the case.
On Friday, Yzerman was in Traverse City watching his team skate at their first day of training camp. The Red Wings GM spoke to the media and he addressed exactly what he is looking for in a captain.
From Detroit Free Press:
“I’m looking for them all to step forward as leaders on the ice and off the ice and set the tone the way we’re going to play and the way we’re going to conduct ourselves,” Yzerman said. “I want to get to know all these guys — a few of the veteran guys I know somewhat from when I left the organization, but it’s an opportunity to take the time to get to know everyone and when we eventually do name a captain, I intend that person to be the captain for a long time.”
Yzerman believes Larkin is just entering the prime of his career and that he is driven to do well.
“He took a significant step last year,” Yzerman said. “What impresses me the most is his speed and his competitiveness. He’s just entering the prime of his career. From talking with everyone, from spending a little bit of time with him, he’s a worker. He’s driven. He wants to do well. I expect him only to continue to improve.”
Honestly, I still believe Larkin will eventually get the nod, but there is nothing wrong with Yzerman taking his time to make sure it is the right move.