With the trade deadline approaching, seeing current Stars become former Stars was a given. But seeing Brenden Morrow become a Pittsburgh Penguin dealt Stars fans young and old a harsh blow. And in the midst of the shock, the disappointment, the sadness, came the question, “Who’s going to be captain?”
Fans have been throwing out names like Jamie Benn, Stephane Robidas, Jaromir Jagr, Derek Roy, Loui Eriksson and all for good reason. But the debate really heats up when topics like time on the team, playing position, current leadership position, and pure popularity start to pop up. So what are some of the nitty, gritty facts?
Jamie Benn: Benn has been a fan-favorite since he hit the NHL ice, and for good reason. Benn knows how to find the net, knows how to fight and knows how to be a team-player, all characteristics needed of a captain. Benn has had his fair share of injuries also, something Morrow wasn’t immune to either, but that little “C” can add some serious weight to the shoulders of the bearer. The Stars should be more concerned with putting Benn on a line that will get him back in his goal-scoring groove than laying the weight of the team on his shoulders.
Stephane Robidas: He has been with the Stars since the 2002-2003 season. If there’s anyone left on this team who knows, or can grasp an understanding of this organization, it’s Robi. But, as many like to point out, he’s a defenseman where most captains today are forwards. Strong captain-ship isn’t lost on player position, though, and the likes of Zdeno Chara and former Star Derian Hatcher are proof of that. Penalties seem to plague Robi, as they did Hatcher. And Robi already wears one of Dallas’ three “A”’s so his leadership ability has already been established. But how much more can the Stars put on one of the few reliable defensemen the team has?
Jaromir Jagr: Yes, he’s the team’s leading goal-scorer. Yes, he has gained a fan following in Dallas faster than just about anyone. Yes, yes, yes. He’s awesome, and he’s definitely what Dallas needed in this dry and increasingly depressing season. He’s also 40 and he also just joined the team. He loves the sport, and seems to love Dallas, but an injury that wouldn’t mean much for a younger player could mean retirement for him. He has incredible leadership capabilities and qualities, but start him out as an “A” first. Then decide if he’s ready for the bulk of the “C.”
Loui Eriksson: He’s already wearing an “A.” He’s second in goal-scoring behind Jagr. He’s been a part of this organization for six years. And the fans absolutely love him. Some have said Loui has had a slow season, and sure he has only scored nine goals this season, putting him on track for maybe 14 for the entire mini-season. But Loui has also fallen victim to line-confusion, much like Jamie Benn. The Stars, and Glen Gulutzan, seem to have a hard time finding where he can cause the most damage. But when they find that spot, Loui will be on-par for another 20-plus goal season. On the downside, he’s not the best communicator, but he is getting better. That Swedish accent could make for some interesting negotiation with the linesman and referees though.
Ultimately, the Stars are fortunate to have so many players who could be chosen to fill some very big shoes in Brenden Morrow’s place. And the “C won’t be the same without Brenden behind it, either. While such a decision can’t be made lightly, it must be made for the team to really move forward.
So, Dallas, who’s gonna be the next “C?”