Oct 22, 2013; Columbus, OH, USA; New Jersey Devils defensenman Anton Volchenkov (28) dives for the puck as Columbus Blue Jackets center Brandon Dubinsky (17) stick handles during the second period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Dubinsky Should NOT Be Captain: The Rebuttal

Last night, Union and Blue’s own Lindsay Wilson wrote an article explaining why Brandon Dubinsky should NOT become the captain of the Columbus Blue Jackets. The piece took me aback because, as far as I was aware, most of Columbus was on board for Dubinsky wearing the “C.”

Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

When I opened the article I was skeptical. After writing two articles on Dubinsky myself, I thought nothing would sway me away from that argument. Hell, I was about to hand-stich the “C” on his sweater myself. But as I read it, I started to think. I started to question.

On my ride home, I began to take in consideration Lindsay’s argument. She had made some valid points.

Why would Dubinsky risk suspension and negatively impacting the team over a clean hit?  Why would he continue to hit Volchenkov when he was already down.  A captain does not do these things.  A captain represents the team and that is not the way the Columbus Blue Jackets should be represented.

I wanted to brush it off, throw it away as garbage. But something kept bringing me back to the idea that she was right. I couldn’t shake the feeling. Her article forced me to question my own stance, one I had thought was iron-clad.

After I did, I never felt stronger about it.

Lindsay’s main argument insists that captains don’t make dumb, reckless decisions like Dubinsky did when he engaged in a fight. Was he wrong for doing so? Yes, probably. She says that captains shouldn’t make the kind of decisions that would hurt their team in the long run. She’s right when she said Dubinsky should have gotten suspended.

So why do I insist her points were so well thought out if I disagree with them? It’s not so black and white. Just because you think somebody makes a good point doesn’t mean you have to agree with it. If a writer makes you think, they’ve done their job. Even if you think they’re wrong. They’ve made you question your beliefs and if in the end you still feel the same way, your beliefs are that much stronger. Because you’ve tested them. Because you’ve questioned them.

Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Lindsay states that Dubinsky’s fight could have been detrimental to the team and was not very captain-like of him. I agree. But I think she’s missing point. You see, the main difference between Brandon Dubinsky and Rick Nash is that Brandon Dubinsky was actually willing to do what he thought necessary, even if it was wrong.

Because it doesn’t really matter what Dubinsky did. It’s that he did it. And I think that’s what Lindsay was missing in her analysis. There were so many times when Captain Nash should have done something, even if it was the wrong thing. So many times an opposing player hit a Jacket, and Nash just stood there, watching.

Rick Nash never stood up as a captain. It’s not about whether what they’re doing is right or wrong, it’s the fact that they’re doing it. And Nash never did anything. How many fights did he get in? How many times did he put his foot down when we would rattle off cringe-worthy losing streaks? He never did anything.

Dubinsky is the anti-Nash. Whether what he did during the New Jersey game was right or wrong, (and for the record, it was probably wrong), it’s that the fact that he did it. He felt, at that time, that it was necessary for the team. So instead of hiding, Dubinsky has emerged as somebody to take action, somebody that is willing to do what it takes (whatever he thinks is necessary), to be the leader, the captain of the team.

Tags: Columbus Blue Jackets

  • Nick Biss

    This rebuttal sums up my thoughts on Lindsay’s article but you added the Nash conversation into it which is great because I feel the same way you do about him.

    His inability to accept responsibility or be self-critical when he needs to do so was exposed last season in New York during the playoffs to a large audience.

    It’s refreshing to have someone who is so passionate about what goes on during the game. Dubi is a great leader for this team and mentor for the future of this club, especially Jenner who already has a high amount of emotion and passion for the game (see World Junior Championships).

    Sure Dubi may have went overboard on that play but his willingness to prove that he’s not going to be pushed around is a great example for the young guys and only helps to build a positive identity around the club as long as those “overboard” moments are few and far between.

  • Tyler West

    Thanks for the comment.

    I wanted to add as much context as possible. No matter what Dubinsky does, it’s just important he does it. Rick Nash was the prime example that you don’t necessarily make your best player captain. I think we’ve learned from that.

  • Chris Adams

    I couldn’t disagree with her take more, I have played hockey all the way through the college level beginning when I was 6 and I can assure you that not one of the players on the team thought that was a reckless, dumb penalty. Every single one of them appreciates him letting the other team know that we aren’t going to be pushed around and had runs taken at us. That attitude is exactly what has been missing from our leaders for many years. There is a reason Jared Boll has an A on his jersey and Dorsett had one before him. The leaders of your team lead your team into battle and sometimes that is a physical battle. It was a harmless play, he didn’t even really take off his gloves, he gave him a couple shots to let him know that shit won’t fly around here anymore. Bravo Dubi, put the C on his jersey already!

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