Jun 24, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Chicago Blackhawks centerJonathan Toews
(19) is driven into the net of Boston Bruins goalieTuukka Rask
(40) by defensemanZdeno Chara
(33) during the third period in game six of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Michael Ivins-USA TODAY Sports
The Central Division has been realigned for the 2013-2014 season. Some new teams join the division that didn’t get renamed, while the Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets changed Conferences. Here is a look at our rankings of the Captains of the Central Division.
7. Dallas Stars- They still haven’t named their Captain for 2013-2014 season. Last year’s Captain Brenden Morrow was traded to Pittsburgh Penguins at the trading deadline last season.
Mar 6, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog (92) is pursued by Chicago Blackhawks center Dave Bolland (36) during the second period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
6. Gabriel Landeskog-Colorado Avalanche There are rumors that new coach Patrick Roy could be changing his Captain before the season. Landeskog was only 19 last season when he was named Captain of the Avalanche, and he didn’t have a great season statistically scoring 9 goals 8 assists and a -4 rating for the franchise who’s only real win was getting the first pick of the 2013 draft.
May 3, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) makes a save against Minnesota Wild center Mikko Koivu (9) during the second period in game two of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports
5. Mikko Koivu– Minnesota Wild If one of the alternate Captains were the Captain of the Wild they would rank higher on the list. Ryan Suter and Zach Parise arrived via free agency in the summer of 2012 and helped the Wild to a playoff berth in their first season. Koivu has played his entire career with the Wild and is a solid center finishing 2nd in team point in 2013 with 37. Everyone is expecting the Wild to be a playoff team in 2014 and Koivu will need to be a huge factor in their continued rise in the new Central division.
Mar 13, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; St. Louis Blues center David Backes (42) chases Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith (2) during the first period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports
4. David Backes– St.Louis Blues- Backes has been the Blues Captain since 2011 and has played his entire career with the Blues organization. Backes is a tough guy that isn’t afraid to lay out any player from the other bench at any time. Backes is not the biggest scorer in the league, but he’s a great leader in a Division stocked full of very good captains. No matter how great a leader Backes is, he hasn’t been able to help his team solve the Los Angeles Kings and Jonathan Quick in the playoffs.
Oct 13, 2011; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Bryan Bickell (29) checks Winnipeg Jets left wing Andrew Ladd (16) during the third period at the United Center. The Hawks beat the Jets 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports
3. Andrew Ladd-Winnipeg Jets Ladd gets a nod above Backes for the sole reason he’s already hoisted the Cup twice in his career with the Carolina Hurricanes and the Blackhawks. When he was traded to the Atlanta Thrashers he almost immediately became the Captain. With their move to Winnipeg Ladd has led by example by both playing tough and leading the team in scoring. Ladd also had another solid +/- rating of 10 after having minus ratings the last two years. Ladd will have to be at his best if the Jets have any shot at being a dark horse playoff team.
Oct 31, 2011; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Dave Bolland (36) and Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber (6) fight for the puck in the first period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
2. Shea Weber– Nashville Predators- Weber was missing his partner in crime last year with the departure of Ryan Suter to Minnesota. Weber is entering his 9th season with the Predators and is one of their leading scorers and hitters. Weber like Ladd is a lead by example guy who will now become mentor to rookie Seth Jones. Jones and Weber will need to play Barry Trotz system to a T to make it back to the playoffs in 2014.
Jun 24, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) hoists the Stanley Cup after game six of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. The Blackhawks won 3-2 to win the series four games to two. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
1. Jonathan Toews-Chicago Blackhawks Captain Serious is 25 and has two Stanley Cup championships and already is one of the greatest Blackhawks to every put on the jersey in the long 86 year history of the franchise. He has been the Captain for 5 years now while doing everything for his team from scoring, winning faceoffs, playing on special teams, and be the leader of the Blackhawks. Toews is not only the best Captain of the Division, but he has to be the front runner for best Captain in the NHL.
What do you think? What is your Captain Rankings for the Central Division?
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