by J. Scott Moore
here. That was a somewhat tongue-in-cheek piece about that Avs plotting his ascension to the captaincy. But I am serious about this; make him captain.
A lot of people think Milan Hejduk or Paul Stastny or John-Michael Liles should/could or would be a better/more suitable choice. I think a lot of this is simply based of seniority in these people’s eyes. They don’t necessarily know that is how they are making their choice. But I think a lot of people do it and then will rationalize their way to the end point.
The time to challenge Matt Duchene as a leader is now. This team isn’t ready to go all the way, we know that. Duchene knows that, everyone knows it. What it does, is give him time to grow into the role so that when this young team does need that leader, he isn’t green. Wait till the team needs quality leadership to tip it over the edge into greatness and you’ve waited too long.
Paul Stastny and Milan Hejduk are cut from the same the cloth. The aw-shucks, good guy that works hard and produces on a consistent level. But Matt Duchene is a driven individual on a different level. He wants to lead. Not that Hejduk or Stastny would turn it down; I think they would be honored and go all out. But Duchene is the guy that lies in bed at night and thinks about how to be this team’s captain. Really wants the opportunity.
I think Liles is the most well suited veteran for the job. But I’m not sure the coach is on board the Liles-train. Seems to be some doubt there and he’s always trade-bait. That just isn’t the best situation for a captain.
So what are the Avs waiting for? Adam Foote was named captain a week or two before training camp. This team isn’t likely to change much between now and then. Certainly not in a manner that would shift the candidates for captain.
Do it now. Let it marinate on the fans during the off-season. Let Matt Duchene get comfortable with it over the summer. You want Duchene to elevate his game? Give him responsibility and I think you will see it happen.