Blackhawks: What players will wear the “A” next season?
One of arguably the biggest questions revolving around the Blackhawks roster going into next season is going to be who will serve as the captains for the team. Obviously, assuming Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are both healthy, they will be the captain and an assistant captain, but who else could help out?
This past season we saw a lot of different combinations of alternate captains. With Jonathan Toews out the entire season, other players had to step up to help the team. Who wears the A is just for the show of it, any player on the roster can be a leader, but it is still a matter of a fact that the Blackhawks chose Connor Murphy and Alex DeBrincat to also wear the A a few times last season.
An NHL team has a captain and two assistant captains every night. Now you can also just do three assistants if the team does not have a captain, but every night there needs to be three guys with a letter on their jersey. So with Toews and Kane considered to be the locks for the spot, who will take the third spot?
So here are my picks for the Blackhawks assistant captain spot that is up for grabs next season:
Alex DeBrincat probably would be the most likely and best choice to be the second assistant captain on the team. DeBrincat is a young player still. At just 23 years old, his best years of hockey are ahead of him. Still, he has taken on a big role within this team and is going to be one of the faces of the franchise for years to come. He is not just good in the offensive zone, he doesn’t give up at any stage of the ice and will be needed for a long time on this team.
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Connor Murphy is arguably the face of the blue line now with Duncan Keith off of the roster. He is one of the longest-tenured Blackhawks remaining now, and he is one of the more experienced members of the blue line. Blackhawks fans have watched Murphy become more than just a piece that came back in a return for Niklas Hjalmarsson. He has now created his own place on the Blackhawks as a good shutdown defenseman and a heavy hitter when needed.
Calvin de Haan:
de Haan has a little more age on Murphy, and he has had some success in the NHL with the Carolina Hurricanes. If de Haan did not have injury problems last season I think he would have been a prime candidate to wear the A this coming season as well as throughout last year.
Ryan Carpenter is one of the older forwards on the team. He is someone that has to work hard to be in the lineup, and when he is in the lineup he is trying his best to do the little things right like retrieve pucks along the boards. A lot of the players on this list were top stars on the team, Carpenter is someone that had to work hard to play against top guys with skill.
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One would imagine this is going to be Kirby Dach’s team in the future. While he might still be incredibly young, giving him the A would serve as a passing of the torch already to Dach as the Blackhawks prepare to move forward with him as their leader and top center someday.