If you’re a fan of the Chicago Blackhawks and you happen to look over at NHL.com and their recent list of top captains in the history of the National Hockey League, you’ll probably notice a sizable omission: Jonathan Toews is not on it.
Now, a list of just 10 players in the history of the league is going to bring about some pretty elite company. It’s not an easy list to make. Of the 10 players on that final list, just two of them were players that are still active: Sidney Crosby and Shane Doan.
Toews doesn’t have the sample space that both Crosby and Doan have, particularly in the case of the latter, but he’s already established Hall of Fame credentials. In his short time, Toews has led the Blackhawks to a Western Conference Finals, a Stanley Cup title, and has won a Conn Smythe Trophy. He’s a proven performer both in regulation play and in the postseason.
Of the 10 players on the list, nine of them have led their teams to Stanley Cup championships. In his short career, Crosby has already appeared in the finals twice, winning once. Ray Bourque won his Stanley Cup after leaving the Boston Bruins, leaving Doan as the only player on the list without a title.
His presence on the list is probably the most intriguing.
Shane Doan obviously hasn’t enjoyed the same success as the rest of that list, but the last few years are what likely pushed him into the top 10. Doan has led Phoenix Coyotes teams that lacked star power and real offensive talent to three consecutive postseason appearances, including last year’s run to the Western Conference Finals.
He’s been very loyal throughout his career, and has always been a classy guy off the ice, but does he deserve a spot on that list over Toews? Probably not.
At the end of the day, this list doesn’t actually mean much. Especially when you consider the fact that it’s almost completely impossible to actually rank the effectiveness of a captain. If there’s a system for it, other than wins, I’d love to hear it. Nonetheless, Jonathan Toews will very likely make an appearance on that list at some point in the future.