Hockeytown collectively rejoiced on Friday when long-time captain Steve Yzerman returned to the team as general manager after serving for nine years with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Throughout his career, Yzerman was known as the consummate leader and is widely regarded as one of the greatest if not the greatest captain in NHL history. Now that he’s general manager of the team, he’ll almost certainly be involved in deciding who will be the next Red Wing to wear the “C” that he donned for so many years.
The most obvious leading candidate is forward Dylan Larkin, who many believe is a shoe-in to be Detroit’s next captain after the retirement of Henrik Zetterberg before this most recent season began.
But what does Yzerman think?
“I can’t say that’s my decision. I tend towards let the coach make that decision,” Yzerman said. “But I certainly would like to talk to (Blashill). Whoever that is, whenever that is, you make sure it’s the right player and he’s at the right stage of his career. More so than wearing the C on your jersey is really how you conduct yourself, how you play, your attitude is what determines the leader of the team.”
Meanwhile, during locker clean-out day earlier in the month, former GM Ken Holland also discussed the issue.
“If you look at our assistant captains, the other three are older players,” Holland said. “Ultimately, the next captain of the Detroit Red Wings is going to be somebody young.”
“As we work our way to the summer and training camp, certainly (Larkin) is a legitimate candidate,” Holland said. “He plays hard. He’s a tremendous, tremendous player and he’s going to be a face of this franchise, and we need more faces of this franchise. Certainly, he would be a leading candidate to be the next captain.”