The Columbus Blue Jackets rolled through the 2013-14 season without a captain. After trading Rick Nash, they were left without their franchise player and the man with the C on his chest. With a revamped roster and high expectations, will they name a new captain heading into 2013-14?
It’s certainly possible. And if they choose to do so, there are likely a few worthy candidates. Jack Johnson is a leader in the locker room and one of the longer tenured players on the team. Add on the fact that he’s signed for five more years, and he could be a favorite. But he’s not the only one.
Brandon Dubinsky is another one. He’s not a star, but he’s a key top six forward and a vocal leader in the locker room. James Wisniewski is another candidate. Perhaps Nathan Horton could be in the mix as well. And don’t overlook defenseman Ryan Murray in all of this.
At this point, it looks like Johnson should be the guy. He’s the no. 1 defenseman on the team and has consistently been named as a vocal presence in the locker room. He’s been wearing an A for the team, and taking over as captain would likely be an easy transition for him.
The transition would be similar for Dubinsky, who is the only other player on the roster to have worn an A with the Blue Jackets, quickly establishing himself with the team. Another guy who has been a vocal presence in the locker room, he’d be right for the role as well, even with his health issues last season.
Wisniewski isn’t exactly the captain type, despite his presence as a veteran. He plays too close to the edge and has a history. Horton won’t start the season until December, but he could be a candidate to wear an A. And Murray, though he has incredible poise for his age, may not inherit the captaincy in a room full of veterans.
We’ll see who ends up taking home the captaincy for the Blue Jackets. But it’d be surprising to see them roll into the new year without a new captain. Smart money says Johnson or Dubinsky will be the guy to get it, but don’t rule out the other candidates quite yet.