Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Blue Jackets: Past versus Present Contenders for Captains

A large amount of Columbus Blue Jackets fans have mentioned the absence of a captain. The team has seemed to succeed in that lack of. Todd Richards has mentioned that a captain may not be chosen for some time, because it seems the team does not need one. However, a couple members of the team have definitely shown qualities of a captain.

 Rob Leifheit-USA TODAY Sports

Rob Leifheit-USA TODAY Sports

Jack Johnson and Brandon Dubinsky have been mentioned by Richards for contenders. Johnson has 14 goals combining the seasons after trading Nash and losing the captain. Traded from the LA Kings, Johnson is a 6 ft. 1 defenseman, who is high in assists and penalty minutes. He was looked to as a leader last year, given the responsibility of the last speech to the Nationwide Arena crowd on April 27th, 2013. He showed a willingness to fight for his teammates, a great quality, as well as, being an older member to give the younger members someone to inspire them and lead by example.

Brandon Dubinsky scored 22 goals in the seasons without a captain. He was one of the leaders in the recent season as a goal scorer, fulfilling his role as a forward. Dubinsky occupied a spot on the top line for a majority of the past season. He continued to lead by example with assisting 34 goals in the past season and dominating with 98 penalty minutes.

Though quite some time needs to pass to begin the next seasons, the question of who will become captain when he is named. A comparison can be given with the contenders and their predecessors. Leading off with the captain who started the franchise, Lyle Odelein captained the team during the first 2 years of the franchise, scoring five goals through his captaincy. The team inly in its early stages won 50 out of 164 games between the two seasons.

Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

The next year, the franchise named a new captain, Ray Whitney. Scoring 24 goals, through his one year as a captain, had a large impact. By only the statistic of 29 wins in that season, the team was improving in their beginning stages. Luke Richardson took over the captain position for two seasons, scoring a measly one goal. The team ended up going 65 wins for both seasons.

In the 2005 season, Adam Foote was named captain, keeping his spot for three seasons. Throughout his captaincy, he scored 10 goals, nearly a median for the captains. The team ended up winning 102 games during his captaincy. The last captain to be picked, Rick Nash, led with the longest amount of time as a captain with 4 seasons. He scored 136 goals throughout those seasons. He led the team into their first playoff appearance and supported his team through most of his years with the Jackets.

Though now none of these players are members of the team, they have a legacy to be filled. Who will take on this challenge to lead the team to victory? (And hopefully a Cup)!

Tags: Captain Columbus Blue Jackets

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