Jarome Iginla was not the first Captain to abandon ship, but he was one that signaled the opening of the floodgates.
Eight hockey sweaters emblazoned with a "C" have become collector's items while the men who wore them have moved onto other teams. Old loyalties, some of them long-held and seasoned with a few victories and a lot of losses, have been pushed under the new reality. Eight NHL teams, and their millions of fans, head into the new season without a Captain at the helm.
It won't surprise you to know that the youngest of the displaced Captains is thirty and the oldest of them is forty, with most of them hovering in the middle. In hockey terms, they might well be considered "old soldiers" and this might well be considered a "fade away".
As the lede to an article on Grantland, Sean McIndoe of Down Goes Brown wrote, "There are now eight NHL teams that find themselves without a captain, an all-time NHL record according to the Department of Facts I Didn't Bother to Research But Sound Plausible Enough. That means we'll see as many as eight new captains named before the start of the season. But who?"
While everyone else is quite rightly interested in who will be the new captains of these eight leaderless teams, I'm very interested in the dynamics involved in the vacancies. What causes an unprecedented number of captains to ask to leave and/or teams to deal away their captains? What does that say about the state of the NHL? About the captain's job itself. How does it affect the players, the fans, the locker room?
Due to some formatting limitations, I was not able to post the complete article here, Please go to The Old Man and the C at thehockeybrain.com to read the remainder.