Sens finally ready to announce new captain, three years after trading Erik Karlsson

Good decision? Who would you choose?

HockeyFeed

According to a report from Ottawa Senators insider Bruce Garrioch, the team is expected to name a captain for the first time in three years and will likely make the appointment official before the end of training camp next month.

Garrioch reports that the two obvious options to succeed franchise icon Erik Karlsson as the team's next captain are forward Brady Tkachuk and defenseman Thomas Chabot.

“We hope to but that’a decision with Mr. Melnyk and Pierre. Everybody will be involved because it’s a big-time important decision,” said head coach D.J. Smith, when questioned about a potential captain for 2021-22. “But we feel we’re at that time now where we’re as close as we’ve been to naming a guy. It’s time for someone to be the leader of this group.”

Garrioch reports though that contract negotiations between the team and Tkachuk could have an impact on the captaincy decision. After all, this team is owned by Eugene Melnyk and if you cross him there's absolutely zero chance that you'll be wearing a "C" on your chest.

Interestingly enough, Melnyk was asked about the possibility of Tkachuk being named captain during his latest appearance on the Bob McCown podcast.

“That’s going to be what we’re thinking about all summer and whether he’s the person for that,” said Melnyk’. “It would have to be someone who’s got to be around for the long-term. That’s the key for us. You can’t have a captain there on a bridge contract. It’s not going to happen.

As for coach Smith, he feels now is the time for this team to have a true leader. 

“I just think there has to be a face to it. We have plenty of guys who are leaders and could be captains but I just think if you look at the Stanley Cup winners they all have captains and they’ve had the same captain for three, four or five years,” Smith said. “It’s the voice of that team, the direction of that team and I think the real successful teams have their captains for a long time."

Personally, I'd look to Chabot over Tkachuk. While I love Tkachuk and I'd have him as part of my leadership group any day, he's simply too volatile to be the team's captain. He can still have a big impact with an "A" on his chest, but Chabot can literally do it all. He's a versatile player who the rest of the team can count on when the chips are down.