In the 42-year history the New York Islanders, there have been some talented players that have been named team captain. There have been Hall-of-Famers, talented leaders and high-scoring players. Now a new name can be added to the list.
To nobody’s surprise, the team announced today that John Tavares will be the 14th captain in the history of the franchise.
This choice was almost a no-brainer. Tavares has led the Islanders in scoring in each of his first four years in the NHL. The team had to find the right guy to replace Mark Streit, who was captain last year but was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers at the beginning of the offseason.
Sure, there could have been a few guys who have the leadership skills to take over as captain. But when it comes right down to it, GM Garth Snow and head coach Jack Capuano had an almost slam-dunk choice with Tavares.
Now here comes the big question of the day: can Tavares handle the pressure of being team captain and still be able to produce every night?
The answer, as far as I can tell, is yes. The reason I bring this up is that as we have seen in the past, some good players are not really able to handle the pressure of the captain. Kenny Jonsson is the best example of a guy struggling while wearing the C on Long Island.
There is a lot of pressure associated with being the captain of an NHL team, and it’s even more stressful of a job in a hockey-mad city like New York. It’s a very high-stress job. Tavares may be the perfect guy on the club right now to handle the stress, and still be able to produce at the pace that Islanders fans have become used to seeing during his four-year career.
The Islanders made the right move to name Tavares the team captain, a very well deserving honor.