Editorials

NHL Central Division Captains, Ranked Worst To First

By Colin Likas
Mar 11, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Stars left wing Jamie Benn (14) defends against Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) during the first period at American Airlines Center. The Stars defeat the Blackhawks 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 11, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Stars left wing Jamie Benn (14) defends against Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) during the first period at American Airlines Center. The Stars defeat the Blackhawks 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
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central division
Apr 9, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Winnipeg Jets right wing Blake Wheeler (26) skates down the ice during a shootout against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center. The Winnipeg Jets won 4-3 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 6: Winnipeg’s Blake Wheeler

Now, unlike Fisher, I think Wheeler is a solid replacement for his team’s former captain. Andrew Ladd‘s departure left a hole in that respect, and the Jets filled it with a young, confident up-and-comer.

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Frankly, the Jets didn’t have a ton of options for this honor. I wouldn’t have been the least bit surprised if former Blackhawk Dustin Byfuglien was given the “C,” and I think he’s the only other guy who could have worn it for Winnipeg this season and not made it a joke.

But Wheeler is rapidly becoming one of the league’s better forwards, and he’s a clean guy who’s a perfect front man for a rough-and-tumble Winnipeg squad. Wheeler posted 78 points in a full 82-game season against just 49 penalty minutes.

If you’re looking to build a leader from within, it’s logical to put the “C” on a guy who was your best player last year. I’m thinking Wheeler takes this honor and runs with it. Given he’s just 30 years old, he could wear the letter for some time.

Next: Captain No. 5

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