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
May 17, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo (27) against the San Jose Sharks in game two of the Western Conference Final of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoff at Scottrade Center. The Sharks won 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 3: St. Louis’ Alex Pietrangelo

With David Backes departed, the Blues almost couldn’t find a worse captain on their current roster, unless they picked Ryan Reaves. Pietrangelo was a really strong choice, though, and he has the potential to push the Blues to things Blackhawks fans would rather not think about.

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Pietrangelo is like a poor man’s Duncan Keith, more or less. He’s the defensive leader on a group that gets pretty suspect toward the back end, and he provides some solid offensive kick from the blue line. He’s relatively level-headed, a switch from what Blues’ leadership normally offers.

The two-time All-Star has been up for the Lady Byng and Norris trophies throughout his NHL career, which is reaching full season No. 7 this year. At just 26 years old, Pietrangelo could hold the “C” for a really long time.

Pietrangelo is just a consistently solid presence for the Blues, and that’s very likely going to translate to his captaincy. He could buckle under the pressure, along with essentially being coached by both Ken Hitchcock and Mike Yeo this year. Pietrangelo’s captaincy could really start in full during the 2017-18 season, though.

He was already more of a leader on the ice wearing an “A” than Backes was wearing the “C.” Now we’ll see if Pietrangelo wasn’t wearing the “C” earlier for a reason.

Next: Captain No. 2

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