The Columbus Blue Jackets are two games into the regular season and are still without a captain. Just before training camp it was mentioned by Coach Richards that the captaincy decision was not going to be rushed, and that the organization is hopeful that the right player will make themselves apparent and the decision will be obvious. [BlueJackets.NHL.com]
Over the offseason it was made clear by fans (most fans that is), that the captaincy would come down to two players, Jack Johnson and Brandon Dubinsky. Lo and behold, Johnson and Dubinsky have been two of the best players on the ice for the Blue Jackets in their first two games. Not only can you tell that they both have a strong voice on the ice, but they are also contributing as well, each having two points. Johnson has one goal and one assist, and Dubinsky has two assists so far this season. So what now? The wait continues? How many games will the two have to battle it out before a decision is made?
Apparently the captaincy conundrum will continue on until one of these two players sticks out like a sore thumb. Dubinsky was in the spotlight after opening night when being asked about the play of the Blue Jackets. Not once did he call out a specific player, other than himself, what he did say a lot was “we” though. Calling players out in interviews to the press is just going to cause issues, so he responded extremely well to those specific questions. The best statement of the interview though, was this…..
“…we’re not going to make excuses in this room,…we just gotta simply be better”
[Post-game Interview: Brandon Dubinsky via BlueJackets.NHL.com]
Union and Blue’s own Tyler West had this to say about that last statement from Dubinsky…
Those are the words of a captain. Those are the words of a leader in a locker room in need of a leader. After being handed a 4-3 loss by the Calgary Flames, Brandon Dubisnky answered questions for the media. And unlike Rick Nash, Dubinsky wasn’t making excuses…
Johnson also talked to the media after the loss on opening night, but after hearing Dubinsky answer questions, nothing stuck out more than Brandon’s last answer. [Post-game Interview: Jack Johnson via BlueJackets.NHL.com]
Johnson may not have stuck out during that particular media interview but he has quite a resume. One aspect of his resume that goes beyond the Blue Jackets is Johnson’s experience with Team USA. He is a shoe in for this upcoming Olympics and there was even chatter about Johnson being a contender for the captaincy. Obviously two different teams, but that has to speak volumes to his character, especially when you take a look at the potential roster for Team USA.
Anyone can make a strong argument for either of these players, but what is more important right now is the argument that both of these players will be making on and off the ice for themselves. The organization will ultimately decide on who will be the next captain of the Columbus Blue Jackets, and I suppose only time will tell as to who made the best argument.