I have not seen much news on the status of the Devils captaincy. I am very concerned with this topic because of the ramifications it has had and will have on this team. Obviously there were more issues with the pre-Christmas Devils last year than just the leadership and example of Jamie Langenbrunner, but it is hard to ignore that the team went on a ridiculous hot streak after his distractions were traded. As much as being named captain is an honor it can also be a burden. We have witnessed the effect of the captaincy on Patrick Elias back in 2007. In this Star Ledger article from Rich Chere on 9/16:
"I didn't like the way the situation was handled, so if (the captaincy) was offered to me I'd have to talk it over with them," Elias said today. "I'd rather not be put in that position again."
It is very important that the Devils pick a player who can handle the pressure of this leadership role. It is my opinion that the lack of leadership and stability at the captain and coaching levels, respectively, are heavily to blame for this teams lack of success. (3 first round ousters followed by a DNQ counts as failure to this spoiled NJ Devils fan)
So the question lingers, "Who should be the next captain of the New Jersey Devils?"
I found this article from Tom Gulitti on 09/21 about this very subject. Gulitti takes the stance that "Naming a captain before the season would seem to leave left Zach Parise as the favorite." He also goes into why the Devils may hesitate giving Parise the C:
If the Devils had any concerns about Parise being a one-season captain and potentially leaving as an unrestricted free agent next July 1, it would seem more likely that they would leave the C vacant until they had a clearer idea of their chances of re-signing him. Giving the C to another player while waiting on Parise wouldn’t make a lot of sense.
Parise's future with the team will have a great impact on the choice of captain. Some will argue that the captaincy will help entice Parise to stay in New Jersey while others feel he will simply follow the money. I do not hold an allegiance to either train of thought. If Parise is this teams leader, he should have the C. The choice will ultimately be decided by new coach Peter DeBoer.
It is incredibly difficult to speculate on this issue as we fans are not on the ice or in the locker room. There is, however, one thing that I feel this team will need more than anything if it will succeed once again. STABILITY. It is time to stick with a coach for more than a season. It is time for a leader to emerge from this roster and set the standard for the wealth of young talent that this team is cultivating. As the moniker of this blog states, In Lou We Trust. Hopefully this year Lou will trust his coach. And hopefully that coach will trust someone to lead this team.
We have done it a few times already, but with the advent of the season drawing near, we can ask again: Who should be the Devils next Captain?
Patrick Elias (25 votes)
Zach Parise (166 votes)
Ilya Kovalchuk (27 votes)
Travis Zajac (7 votes)
Other (9 votes)
234 total votes