Five NHL teams have named their new captains for the upcoming 2020-21 season: the Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, Minnesota Wild, St. Louis Blues, and Vegas Golden Knights.
Boston awarded the captaincy to long time alternate captain Patrice Bergeron after the departure of former captain Zdeno Chara. Bergeron was drafted by the Bruins in 2003 and has won the Selke Trophy as best defensive forward four times.
After leaving the captaincy vacant following the retirement of Henrik Zetterberg in 2018, Detroit named Michigan native Dylan Larkin as its captain. Larkin, a center who was drafted in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft by the Red Wings, has led the team in points the past three years.
Minnesota announced defenseman Jared Spurgeon as their new captain following the departure of veteran Mikko Koivu. Spurgeon was drafted by the New York Islanders in 2008 but never signed with the team. He was invited to Minnesota’s training camp in 2010-11 and subsequently signed with them. 2020-21 will be his 11th season with the Wild.
The signing of former captain Alex Pietrangelo by the Vegas Golden Knights left the position open, and the Blues didn’t wait long to fill it. Former Selke, Lady Byng, and Conn Smythe Trophy winner Ryan O’Reilly was named the 23rd captain in Blues’ franchise history. O’Reilly was acquired by St. Louis in a 2018 trade with Buffalo that sent Tage Thompson, Vladimir Sobotka, Patrik Berglund, a 2019 first round pick, and a 2021 second round pick to Buffalo. O’Reilly helped lead the Blues to a Stanley Cup victory in his second season with the team.
Finally, the Vegas Golden Knights named forward Mark Stone as the first captain in franchise history. Stone was acquired in a 2019 trade with the Ottawa Senators and soon after signed an eight year deal with Vegas. Stone is regarded as one of the games’ best two-way wingers and led the Golden Knights last year in points per game (0.97).
Multiple teams also named new alternate captains. The New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators, who will both go without captains this year, named new players to their leadership group. The Rangers added winger Artemi Panarin and defenseman Jacob Trouba as alternates to go alongside Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider. The Senators named Erik Gubranson and Brady Tkachuk as alternate captains, creating a group of three lettered players that also includes Thomas Chabot (awarded a letter in 2019-20). Lastly, the Brad Marchand of the Boston Bruins, Ivan Provorov of the Philadelphia Flyers, and Colton Parayko and Braden Schenn of the St. Louis Blues all received full time letters as alternate captains.
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