The captaincy of a hockey team has always been considered the highest honor in the sport. Perhaps, even, one of the highest honors in team sports. The NFL copied it in recent years by awarding the captaincy to a player on each team, usually the quarterback. They even get a tiny C sewed on their jersey, while in the NHL the C is large and clearly defined – much like the captain’s role. Captains of hockey teams are supposed to lead by example, they’re supposed to rally the team, speak with the press and be a conduit between the players and the coaching staff.
The National Hockey League is filled with great captains, such as Jonathan Toews, David Backes, Henrik Zetterberg, Zdeno Chara, and Sidney Crosby. Some newer captains, such as Mike Giordano and Jamie Benn, have pretty big skates to fill, but the team and the player both have approached the appointment with all appropriate gravitas. Some are young heirs to the franchise (John Tavares) and some are grizzled veterans rewarded for long service to their team.
And then there are the teams who award letters on the sweater with questionable intent.