DKM Hockey Podcast

Sunday, April 15, 2012

O Captain, No Captain

Luckily for me, I'm a hockey fan.  So when my surrogate hockey team misses the playoffs 91% of the time, it doesn't phase me much.  However, I do feel bad for people who live and die by the Blue Jackets.  I would imagine the next 60+ days until the draft will be very depressing, especially since hockey gets almost zero air play locally.  I really don't know what to expect from the CBJ this off season.  I will skip my tired diatribe about the Blue Jackets financial situation, but I am curious what the ownership group will do with managment.  I don't envy him, however stunned he is about this past season.  Oh, JP MAC, if you'd only listened to me last August.  Of course, no one did.  And I was laughed at.  Does that mean I should be GM? Who knows, at this time my dream NHL job would be Director of Player Development.  Anyways... 

Yes honey, we double fist 'em at most CBJ games too.

However, while most Blue Jackets fan are relegated to poo-pooing the second pick in the draft (send me some film of Yakupov working hard in the corner, what you can't find any?) they are also lamenting their current captain.  I have always thought Columbus the place where NHL'ers come to play out their last few years.  Zero expectation, 2nd or 3rd page sports coverage 5 days a week, and nice country clubs and great schools.  It will certainly be hard to find a veteran who will want to come here and take control of the dressing room.  Having said that, lots of troglodites here in Columbus want to make Vinny Prospal the captain.

Sigh.  Vinny Prospal is here to retire.  He's here to get a job when he hangs them up.  He's here because there is no other city in the world where a pro athlete can make an easy couple million dollars.  Don't get me wrong.  I like him as a player and a person.  He has been a nice breath of fresh air on the team this year.  But you do not make a guy who's interviews go pretty much like this your captain:

1) We gotta play 'em one day at a time.

2) I'm just happy to be here. Hope I can help the ballclub (oops, Hockey Team).

3) I just want to give it my best shot, and the good Lord willing, things will work out.

You don't need a Quadriphonic BlauPlunkt!  What you need is a power play.

Now, unfortunately, there is no easy choice for captain.  Certainly, if the dressing room or coach didn't think Nash deserved the "C" after the trade deadline, he wouldn't have kept it.  Between 2 hours shows on Buckeye Basketball and Buckeye Football I didn't hear any sound bites where any teammates objected.  I heard two seperate Todd Richards interviews where he made it a point to mention how consistent Nash had been in his typical leadership and game preparation.  Off the record I know Richards feels the same way
Who should be captain for the 2012-2013 season?  Here are my thoughts in no particular order.
1.  Rick Nash.  Wanna know why I think so?  Every single player on the CBJ should be embarrassed that Rick Nash was willing to waive his NTC when they know how EASY life is in Columbus.  That in itself should be a wake up call.  He has the ear of a couple guys in the dressing room and he should take advantage of that.
If Nash is gone:
2.  RJ Umberger.  He fought through a miserable first half.  After a couple of slump busters he managed to return to the Umberger everyone knew.  Not going to the "Best of What's Left" tournament know as the World Championships tells me there's trouble at home or he's nursing a boo-boo. That, and he's a former OSU Hockey player.  Oh, but I forget how back seat hockey is around this town.
3.  This is actually my recommendation.  NO CAPTAIN.  Want to be captain, earn it.  Set a date two months into the season to decide on a captain. Then publicize that's what you're doing.  Sounds embarrassing?  Well, the CBJ have been an embarrassment for some time now.  I can't think of any better way to create a competitive dressing room than doing this.  Whoever next years rent-a-coach had better do this.  It seems childish, and something you do with squirts, but it's been my experience this works when your dressing room is full of good guys who lacks drive.

Earn this.

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