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Bolts not expected to name new captain ’til after preseason

Sep 5, 2013, 2:06 PM EDT

martinst.louisartrossgetty Getty Images

Tampa Bay has been captain-less since the club bought out Vincent Lecavalier in late June.

Now it sounds like the Lightning will go without for a little while longer.

The club isn’t expected to name a new captain until after its final preseason game — Saturday, Sept. 28 vs. Florida — according to Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times.

Lecavalier, now with Philadelphia, served two terms as the Lightning’s captain, the first from 2000-01 and the second from 2008-13.

In between, the organization turned to a pair of veteran presences to wear the “C” — Dave Andreychuk (who inherited it at age 39 and captained the team to the 2004 Stanley Cup), and Tim Taylor (who inherited it at 37 and served for two seasons.)

It’ll be interesting to see what route the club goes this time around as two candidates immediately jump to mind: Martin St. Louis and Steve Stamkos.

St. Louis, 37, is the club’s longest-tenured player and has served as an alternate captain since 2007.

Stamkos, 23, is the club’s brightest young star, a two-time Rocket Richard Trophy winner and has worn an “A” since 2011.

There are cases to be made for both. Based on merit and service to the team, St. Louis seems like a solid choice — but Stamkos is the future of the club and, as we’ve seen in Chicago (with Jonathan Toews) and Pittsburgh (Sidney Crosby), putting a “C” on a young star can fast-track his leadership growth.

If there’s anybody else in the running for Bolts captain, it’d probably have to be defenseman Eric Brewer. He’s got the most leadership experience on the roster, having served as St. Louis’ captain for three seasons (2008-11).

  1. ejbigg - Sep 5, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    Easy. Give it to St. Louis, then when he retires possibly in two years when his contract is up, give it to Stamkos.

    • ibieiniid - Sep 5, 2013 at 2:38 PM

      remember, TB’s sewing budget isn’t the biggest in the league, so if they could avoid moving it from shirt to shirt to shirt, it’d really help out with the bottom line.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Sep 5, 2013 at 4:01 PM

      That’s what I’d do, but the current trend around the league is to hand it to your young face of the franchise. Giroux over Timonen/Briere, Landeskog over Hejduk/O’Reilly (young but more experience)/Stastny, Tavares, Taylor Hall will probably replace Horcoff, Jamie Benn is most likely in line for the C, Toews when he was 19, etc. There are obviously exceptions like Spezza prob getting it over Karlsson, or Jovanoski in Florida, but most clubs tend to be leaning towards the young guns over experienced vets.

      • chanceoffleury1 - Sep 5, 2013 at 6:35 PM

        Yeah, but St. Louis won the Art Ross last year and was arguably one of the largest factors of the only stanley cup winning team Tampa has ever produced. He’s a 6 time all star, 2 time Art Ross, 3 time Lady Byng and Hart Trophy winner. Not to mention he has arguably one of the greatest underdog stories in not even hockey, but all of sports. Personally I’ll actually be pretty disappointed if he doesn’t finally get the chance to wear the C. None of the players you listed define their franchises the way St. Louis defines Tampa Bay. He’s been one of the hardest workers in that franchise for 15 years and has rode the highs of the highs and the lows of the lows with them. Sometimes giving it to the coolest and freshest cat on the block isn’t the best idea. But at the end of the day if a player feels they need a C sewn to their jersey to speak up and take on a leadership role within the lockerroom then he’d probably be a crappy captain anyway. In a good captain, the tendency to take control and create success will come as natural as breathing to them.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Sep 5, 2013 at 8:21 PM

        Hey I’m not saying St. Louis hasn’t earned it, or that he doesn’t deserve it, simply that it’s trending the other way. Teams seem to want to give their young guy’s the ‘C’ then have them grow into it, rather than going with the vet for a year or two then handing it to the kid. They seem to want to expedite the process. Again, I agree St. Louis deserves the captaincy, I just wouldn’t be surprised one bit if Stamkos was the choice.

    • c9castine - Sep 5, 2013 at 6:52 PM

      yeah is there really a debate going on in the organization about this? its st. louis. one of the most honest hard working accomplished and experienced guys in the league

  2. dan46778 - Sep 5, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    Give it to St. Louis… N there u go Tampa

  3. 313rowfseat10 - Sep 6, 2013 at 12:37 AM

    Marty, Marty, Marty, Marty! Seriously, to even mention Brewer, you should be shot. Obviously Stammer is the future of the club, but Marty has been the heart and soul of the Lightning organization. He’s a class act, a workhorse, a leader and hopefully a future Hall of Famer.

  4. afrancis55 - Sep 6, 2013 at 8:30 AM

    IMO it’s gotta be Stamkos or Hedman that’s gets the C

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