Since the trade of Brenden Morrow to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the latter part of last season, the Dallas Stars are left without a captain. As new head coach, Lindy Ruff, will wait to see who the most active leader is during training camp, it’s not too early to make predictions as to who the new captain will be. The new captain will be the sixth captain since the franchise has moved from Minnesota.
The current assistant captains are Stephane Robidas (defenseman), Jamie Benn (forward), and Ray Whitney (forward). I expect that the Stars would be looking to keep a player that will be around for quite a while as the new captain. That leads me to believe that Whitney (41 years old) and Robidas (36 years old) wouldn’t be the frontrunners for captaincy.
Jamie Benn, 24 years of age, is one of Dallas’ most talented players on the roster. He is an all-around forward who stepped up for a team with limited experience last season. The potential that he has to remain as a top player and leader for years to come leads me to believe that the coaching staff will recognize him as being the likely candidate of the sixth captain in Dallas Stars history.
Other leaders to step up
The Dallas Stars acquired experienced players this off-season thus far. Tyler Seguin and Shawn Horcoff are two of the most notable. Horcoff comes from the Edmonton Oilers as the captain, where he was the leader of a very young, inexperienced roster. Seguin, although not a captain of the Boston Bruins, has the potential to make a great impact in Dallas for years to come. Giving him the role of assistant captain would help him feel like his impact is more important than it was in Boston where he was sometimes limited to playing on the third line.
The Dallas Stars have players on their roster prior to the off-season that could step up to become bigger leaders also. Brenden Dillon is a young defenseman who was arguably Dallas’ most consistent defenseman throughout the past season. Under the guidance of Robidas, he became a dominant threat while playing a very smart style of hockey.
Antoine Roussel is the dark-horse candidate for being the third assistant captain in my opinion. Although I’m unaware of his presence in the dressing room, he plays with explosiveness on the ice. His physical dominance and peskiness didn’t go unnoticed by his teammates, nor did it by the opposing teams. He also was one of Dallas’ top goal scorers while debuting into the NHL only last season.
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