When Chicago Blackhawks' GM Kyle Davidson announced that Jonathan Toews wasn't returning to the team it really did mark the end of the dynasty era Hawks for most. Toews was made captain in just his second season, just before the start of the 2008-2009 season. That means that most of the fanbase that arrived with said dynasty doesn't know any other captain.
Next season will see us cheering on a young 18 year old Connor Bedard and despite his resume, he has still never scored a point in the NHL or won anything from a team perspective yet. This also means that he hasn't earned the "C" that he wore for the Regina Pats for his new team.
Most feel, as do I, that we will forgo a captain for the 2023-2024 season, not only to honor the legacy left behind by Jonathan Toews, but also in lieu of the fact that Bedard hasn't earned it at this point. Most likely, Connor Murphy wearing an "A" will resume his lead by example approach and be a sounding board for our young team. To me, this is the most likely scenario.
By year 2 however, I believe Connor Bedard (just like Toews) will be named captain of the Chicago Blackhawks. When reflecting of this, I started thinking about all of the teams around the league and how much better this situation "played out" than others have or will transpire.
Adam Fantilli for one is a natural captain, from his position, play, and leadership everything says this player is a captain. Yes, I'm going to assume he goes #2 at this point. Anaheim, just like Chicago, said goodbye to a longtime captain (Getzlaf) and played a season with just alternate captains. If you look at the roster now though, there are a host of young talented players that maybe all think they are in line for that C patch. Does Zegras, McTavish, or Terry think they are more worthy or will it be Fantilli that quickly defines himself? This is a situation without an answer at the moment while Chicago's future captaincy seems set in stone at this stage.
Detroit took it's time naming Dyaln Larking captain. St. Louis traded their cup-winning captain Ryan O'Reilly and have a few players vying to be the teams' next leader. Is Robert Thomas that player? Maybe Colton Parayko isn't dealt and instead is named captain. Perhaps the Blues next captain has yet to play for the team? Either way you look at it, alot of teams don't have such a "set up" as the Hawks now have.
A long time, beloved, captain wins 3 Stanley Cups, moves on amicably and then we get the #1 pick in a year with a generational talent... Our roster is devoid of highly selected young talent as well. The stage is set for Connor Bedard to be our next captain. You couldn't write this up any easier.