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Permission to board, Captain Landeskog - Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE

Avalanche Name Landeskog Captain, Don't Expect Horcoff To Shed The 'C' Yet

An interesting choice from the Avalanche, and one I disagree with almost wholeheartedly.

FILE UNDER “TOO MUCH, TOO SOON”

This is a ‘sexy’ choice, but you know how you sometimes make bad decisions when thinking sexy thoughts?

Landeskog was 2011′s second overall draft pick.  He had a great rookie campaign, he won the NHL’s Calder Cup for rookie of the year, and is now captain of the Avalanche at 19 years of age.  Whoa, Colorado.  Slow your roll. Stay back from the fire for a second and ask yourself a few questions

  • Is this a good choice?  At this time, I’d argue strongly no.  Go on, try and change my mind.  No doubt he’s a super talent.  While that’s a great characteristic to get your team to win hockey games, it doesn’t necessarily make you a good captain.  Jason Smith was a pretty good Oiler captain, and he certainly wasn’t the most talented player on the ice.  Talent and leadership are not mutually inclusive.  Leadership comes with experience.
  • Did I mention Landeskog has one single year NHL experience?  Hey, maybe you could give the guy an ‘A’ first and let him grow into the position instead of throwing him into a grease fire after one year.  It’s not like there will be any pressure on the guy.
  • Is Paul Stastny some kind of dolt?  The guy’s got nearly six times the experience that Landeskog has.  Maybe Paul Stastny isn’t captain material, and I can’t say I know or otherwise.  Milan Hedjuk apparently is past his due date, and Eric Johnson just wasn’t the right guy for the job, apparently.

For these three reasons, I don’t believe it’s time for Horcoff to rescind his captaincy, or for management to pull the C in favour of Taylor Hall (or anyone else for that matter).  Talent and leadership are not mutually inclusive.

Hall’s already espoused his anger at the amount of losing this team does.  Now, make him captain.  Does that make anything better?  And, as crazy as I believe Oiler management to be some times, I don’t think they’re ready to thrust soon-to-be 20 year old Taylor Hall into captaining a team that’s missed the playoffs for six consecutive seasons onto his psyche just yet.

Will Hall captain this team in two or three years?  It’s a likely scenario.  But rushing Hall into captaincy at age 20 is nothing more than trying to dress up your yard a little bit brighter than your neighbour’s yard during the holiday season.  Make sure the defence doesn’t fall apart, or that this team has a capable backup goalie before worrying about whether the 2010 number 1 draft pick is the captain of a team that hasn’t gotten into the post-season since that person in question was entering Grade 9.

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Tags: Colorado Avalanche Edmonton Oilers Gabriel Landeskog Shawn Horcoff Taylor Hall

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