The NHL's Top Five Captains by Daniel Sallows
Daniel SallowsColumnist, Featured Columnist
96 articles written
Columnist Written on October 31, 2009 Mike Ridewood/Getty Images The dictionary defines a captain as one who commands, leads, or guides others.
To be a successful captain in any pro sport you are usually measured by how many championships you have won, but it also takes heart, drive, determination and a will to win to truly measure a player who bears a "C".
On that note, I decided to take a look at the top five captains in the NHL right now.
Five players that any general manager or coach would love to have lead their team.
5. The Philadelphia Flyers, Mike Richards
The Philadelphia Flyers were a team trying to find an identity when Mike Richards made his NHL debut on Oct. 5, 2005, but ever since naming the 24-year-old captain, the club has been one of the league's best.
The 5'11"-200 lb Richards is a skilled forward that can play both the PP and PK, as well as throw pulverizing hits...just ask Florida's David Booth.
4. The Columbus Blue Jackets, Rick Nash
Who would have thought it?
The Columbus Blue Jackets got a taste of the playoffs last year, and this season are off to a decent start at 6-5-1, mainly from the play of their captain Rick Nash.
The 6'4"-235 lb Nash is the complete package of power and skill, who like Richards is dangerous both on the power-play and the penalty kill.
It is only a matter of time before the Jackets become Stanley Cup contenders.
3. The Anaheim Ducks, Scott Niedermayer
You could argue that Scott Niedermayer is the best captain of all-time, and why not, his resume speaks for itself: he is the only Canadian player to ever win a Stanley Cup, Memorial Cup, World Junior Championship gold, IIHF World Championship gold, World Cup of Hockey title and an Olympic gold.
So yes, he knows something about winning.
The fact is the slick-skating defenseman is great at both ends of the ice as well as in the dressing room.
One has to wonder just how many points he could have managed if he had of played in the '80s or not in the New Jersey Devils defensive system for 12 seasons.
Maybe Canada's choice to sport the "C" for the Olympic squad...seems like a no-brainer.
2. The Pittsburgh Penguins, Sidney Crosby
Say what you will about Sidney Crosby, but the fact is the kid simply loves to play hockey, and win for that matter.
The youngest captain to ever win a Stanley Cup, also the youngest player to ever win a scoring title.
He has already done it all it seems at the young age of 22.
Crosby competes harder than any other player on the ice every night, and offensively there are few better than Pittsburgh's number 87.
1. The Calgary Flames, Jarome Iginla
If Jarome Iginla was surrounded by a supporting cast throughout his career he would have already hoisted the Cup.
Iginla is truly the prototypical hockey player—he scores, hits, fights, and dishes the puck as good as any player in the league.
The Flames are constant Cup contenders thanks to their captain, who can be counted on to score close to forty goals a season apparently no matter who he plays with.
It would be tough to find a better all-around player who has done more for his team since wearing the "C" than Calgary's number 12, Jarome Iginla.