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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Apr 24, 2016; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Minnesota Wild center Mikko Koivu (9) and forward Nino Niederreiter (22) and forward Jason Pominville (29) during a time out during the third period Minnesota Wild Dallas Stars in game six of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Xcel Energy Center. The Stars win 5-4 over the Wild. Mandatory Credit: Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 5: Minnesota’s Mikko Koivu

Like most things involving the Wild, I had forgotten who their captain was. My first two thoughts were Ryan Suter and Zach Parise … and I was sort of right on both. They each wear an “A” in Minnesota. But the veteran Koivu is here, too, and it’s he who wears the “C.”

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Koivu has been Minnesota’s captain since 2009, and he’s probably going to continue in that role until he retires. He’s 33 right now, and Minnesota is the only NHL team he’s ever known. So barring a trade, should the Wild decide to tear it all down in the near future, Koivu will stick with Minnesota and likely wear the “C” throughout.

Koivu’s captaincy has not reached the heights management and fans would have hoped for. The Wild can’t make it out of the Western Conference semifinals, and Koivu has to shoulder some of the blame for that. He’s a fine forward who’s constantly up for Selke Trophy nomination, but often times he’s just kind of … there.

Koivu hit 56 points last season, the third most of his career. But there’s only so much he can do to lead a team that’s never really done anything that well in his time as captain. Koivu strikes me as more of a captain in name than a major leader on the ice.

Next: Captain No. 4

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