The IIHF's website has a good story up about the five vacancies in captaincy across the NHL. With trades, retirements, and just the general lack of captain in the first place leaves most of these teams without leadership. Of course, in some cases, the case could be made off the ice as well, but I digress.
To start off in Colorado, I have a bit of agreeance with the idea of handing the leadership over to Paul Stastny, who seems to be the heir-apparent anyway. Of course, you could make a case for John-Michael Liles being the top-dog, but you wonder if he could be around for much longer. As well, you could say that Adam Foote could take over for one more year before possibly heading into the sunset and then handing it over to Stastny. With the mess Colorado is in, you may wonder why they'd give it to someone as young as this to deal with the wreckage in front of them, which is why Foote or Liles could be a logical choice since they know the system just a little better.
With the Leafs, you wonder why they float out the idea of Luke Schenn. Sure, he's the future captain of the Leafs, but the fact of the matter is that it's another case of young players in a disaster zone. Tomas Kaberle is a choice, but you wonder if he could be a leader given him being floated out there as trade-bait, of course who knows how long he'll stick around. Jason Blake could be a last-ditch effort, but at the same time-- may as well give it to Schenn or leave it vacant once again.
I was surprised that Nathan Horton wasn't named captain last year. With Jay Bouwmeester out of the fold, you'd expect him to be the franchise player of the Panthers, since he's been highly touted by the team. He seems like he's older than his age dictates and could be in a solid roll as a captain right now. Horton seems to be well liked by Peter DeBoer, but the issue of healthy and dependability could come into play. With David Booth stepping it up in the last two seasons and playing very consistent hockey, he could be a darkhorse to come out with the "C" in FLA.
The Islanders have been given everything else to John Tavares, but I think the captaincy is a ways off, even for him. If you want to go in a transitional route, Doug Weight would be the guy you would go for, since he has been in that position before. Maybe you could go the way of Trent Hunter, someone who has been with the team and could have some leadership qualities still left in him. Mark Streit has a long-term deal and may be thrown into the leadership role, but who knows what kind of voice he'd have in the room. I'd throw Brendan Witt's name into the mix, but I wouldn't be able to write an explanation with a straight face.
With the most interesting draw, it could go to the Montreal Canadiens. While you may think right off the bat that Andrei Markov would be the heir to Saku Koivu's captaincy, who knows what the hell could happen when it comes to this team, especially with all changes they have made this off-season. Roman Hamrlik is a long-shot in the whole thing, but could be considered for the role. Doubtful that Scott Gomez will get a look, but you never know. Jacques Martin may look to the new guy in a new city with a new look team to be the face of the team for now.
This should be an interesting choice and I'm sure the leader will be beaten down, when choosen, if he can't lead his team to the big wins or the playoffs. Whether or not the pressure will be on them to succeed all depends on which market and the outlook from the start of the season based on last year. This is a fancy time for hockey now.......because nothing is going on and big speculations happen to pass the time.