For the second straight season the Nashville Predators will be picking a new captain. After the retirement of Mike Fisher there is a void that will need to be filled. The void is not just who is wearing the C, but who can and is ready to wear it affectively. Fisher was the perfect leader during the transition from Shea Weber to the next long term captain. Most wish it could have been for at least one more season.
There are several players that could be considered to take on the role. Let’s look at the top 4 players, in no particular order, who are most likely to be chosen as the next captain of the Preds.
1 – Roman Josi – Josi has been an alternate captain since the start of the 2015 season. While his skill set is very different from Shea Weber, he has the quiet leader style that Weber possessed going for him. Something that is not to be discounted is him having a front row seat to Weber’s captaincy. Playing with Weber allowed him to see how he handled himself on and off the ice as a captain. That is something he could very well carry forward as the Predators next captain.
2 – Ryan Ellis – Ellis was added to the on ice leadership group during this last season when he was given an A on his jersey. A more vocal leader than Weber and Fisher, he could be just the kind of player they need to lead them into the future. On the ice, he leads with his play and off the ice, he always seems to say the right thing at the right time. The fans players and fans already view him as a leader on this team. When he came out for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final as hurt as he was, was the stuff of legends.
3 – P.K. Subban – While Pekka Rinne is currently the face of the franchise, Subban is very close behind him. After only one season P.K. has shown himself to be larger than life and can handle being the guy everyone thinks about when the Predators are mentioned. Add to this the fact that he showed this year that he is not afraid to step up and say what needs to be said at the right time and he is quickly showing that making him a captain is not as far fetched as many had thought a year ago. If he is not the captain, I can see him getting an A on his jersey for sure this year.
4- Ryan Johansen – Adding the pressure of a captaincy to the pressure of the newly signed 8 year deal may not be the best thing for Johansen right now. RyJo definitely has the qualities of a leader on the ice and he showed that during this last playoff run, but it may be better to just let him play hockey right now and not worry about being the captain. However, I do see him also getting an A on his jersey this season.
Other candidates would be Filip Forsberg and Mattias Ekhom. While they are leaders on this team, they are probably long shots to be named captain.
Let me know who you think should be named the new captain of the Predators.
Follow me on Twitter at danieljones@dj_puckplanet