The Top 3 Most Undeserving NHL Captains

In the NHL, the role of a team captain is to display traits which represent the direction of his team and the character of his fellow teammates. The captain is undoubtedly looked upon as the leader of a given team, responsible for leading by example both on and off the ice.

This means that on the ice, a captain should be amongst the best players, not only on his team, but also within the league itself. His play should illustrate the hard work and determination which contributed to being appointed to the role itself. Along with his strong individual play, the captain must be able to stand up for his teammates when needed, rally the team in tough times, and display confidence by emphasizing team strategy and strong communication with management and game officials in order to provide his team the best opportunity to win.

Off of the ice, the team captain must be the definitive leader of the hockey team. Providing insight and encouragement to younger players is a must, as the lessons commonly taught by team captains tend to impact the career path of young players. Further to this extended leadership role, the captain must have a strong off ice presence is one’s community, further displaying the integrity and identity of his team through charity and other social events throughout his home city.

It is these on and off ice qualities which make a great NHL captain. Throughout history we have seen many great captains, such as Steve Yzerman and Nicklas Lidstrom with the Detroit Red Wings, Joe Sakic with the Colorado Avalanche, and Ray Bourque with Boston Bruins among many others.

Yet putting these qualities together is extremely difficult, and not all players make successful captains, as seen most recently with Joe Thornton and the San Jose Sharks and Vincent Lecavalier with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2001.

The following three current NHL captains are players which I believe are largely inadequate in meeting the criteria of a strong NHL captain:

3. Dion Phaneuf – Toronto Maple Leafs

Maple Leafs captain

Dion Phaneuf has become a lightning rod for criticism over the past few seasons in Toronto. While some defend the choice of Phaneuf as team captain, the vast majority oppose his captaincy, and for good reason.

On the Ice:

Since being named captain prior to the 2010-11 season, Phaneuf’s offensive production has been steadily decreasing. Following back to back 17 goals season in Calgary, Dion has netted over 10 goals just once in the past four seasons, with 12 in 2011-12. Averaging around 30 points per season over his past three seasons, Phaneuf finished in a 45th place tie in defenseman scoring last season, less than relatively less notable defenseman in Roman Josi and Marek Zidlicky.

Other than an obvious decrease offensively, Phaneuf’s defensive play has also regressed. Although it is known that Phaneuf’s quality of competition on a game by game basis is amongst the highest in the league, Dion’s Corsi% has continued to decrease over the past two seasons. Corsi is essentially measured by the shots for versus against differential while a given player is on the ice. As a result, a lower number represents that a player is on the ice for a greater number of chances against than he creates. Further to this, Dion has struggled to a minus rating in four of his last five seasons, while any Toronto Maple Leafs fan would agree that Dion looks extremely vulnerable in his own end.

Off the Ice:

Off of the ice, Dion has been a strong leader of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Phaneuf has shown that he wants to lead the Leafs to success, as observed in the HBO 24/7 series in which he is seen frequently assisting fellow players, making contributions in the Toronto community, and asking for the best out of his teammates with his very vocal and determined personality in the locker room. Dion has shown that he wants to lead the Leafs to success, and has taken all the off ice steps to make it happen, yet his ability to be seen as a great captain in the NHL is ultimately hindered by his inconsistent, often increasingly poor on ice play.

2. Dustin Brown – Los Angeles Kings

(Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)

Dustin Brown was named the captain of the Los Angeles Kings in 2008. However, Brown does not resemble the typical NHL captain, especially so because he is a captain leading a veteran laden team.

On the Ice:

I know what you’re thinking. How can Dustin Brown, the captain of a team who won the Stanley Cup two of the past three seasons, be an NHL captain undeserving of his role? Here’s why: Brown’s on ice production has ground to a halt over the past two seasons. After scoring 33 goals in 2007-08, Dustin’s production has become stagnant and basically disappeared. Last season, Brown posted 27 points. 27 points for an NHL captain! This put Brown in a tie for 268th in NHL scoring. Due to this, Brown was often demoted to the third and fourth lines last season, as well as during the playoffs, having little positive impact on his team’s success late in the season.

On top of this, the Los Angeles Kings currently boast a bevy of veteran players with not only more NHL experience and leadership, but also offensive production, most notably Justin Williams, whose leadership both on and off the ice make him one of many excellent candidates for the captaincy.

Simply put, Brown’s production does not represent the high quality production expected of an NHL captain. As we’ve discussed, a captain should be amongst the best players on his team as well as in the league. Brown simply does not fit this description, as little offensive production and being demoted for lack of production typically aren’t the best ways to lead your team on the ice.

Off the Ice:

You’ll get no argument from me here. Dustin Brown is a great leader, albeit off the ice. Brown won the Mark Messier leader of the year award this past season, awarded to a player who shows great leadership within the sport and more importantly, within society. Dustin is known for his social work, making him a great leader off of the ice.

Yet similar to Phaneuf, Brown’s inability to lead by example on the ice in being a productive player for his team is what leads to Dustin undeserving of his captaincy role. Winning the leadership award is an honor, don’t get me wrong; but many NHL players make significant contributions in society and are off ice leaders, however as an NHL captain, Dustin Brown must match his off success with his on ice efforts if he is to one day be considered a great NHL captain.

1. Alexander Ovechkin – Washington Capitals

Alex Ovechkin Capitals

This should really come as no surprise. Since being awarded the “C” of the Washington Capitals in 2010, Alexander Ovechkin has become widely known as the NHL captain most undeserving of his role.

On the Ice:

Alexander Ovechkin is a fantastic hockey player, there is no question; yet the “Great 8” has become an increasingly one dimensional player since becoming team captain. Although Ovechkin scored 51 goals last year, which led the league, Alex has become known for his extremely poor play defensively.

The season prior to being named team captain, Ovechkin registered a +45 rating, while in the following five seasons has only managed a plus rating 3 of 5 seasons, while posting a -35 plus/minus rating this past season, third worst in the NHL! Alex’s play simply has not represented that of a worthy NHL captain, as other than scoring goals, Ovechkin has been a poor on ice leader, becoming well known for his extremely poor back checking and defensive positioning, as seen in the following, hilarious video:

YouTube player

In terms of his on ice production, Alex has struggled offensively in comparison to his standards. His goal scoring totals have remained pretty stable, yet his point totals have come no-where near where they were prior to his captaincy. Gone are the 100 point seasons, as it has now been five NHL seasons since Ovechkin eclipsed the century mark, once again showing that his game has become strictly about scoring goals rather than distributing the puck, having become a largely selfish player.

The type of player Ovechkin has become is one which does not reflect the ideal NHL captain, as Alex tends to put himself before his teammates and even his coaches, a trend which has become increasingly stronger in recent years.

Off the Ice:

Off of the ice, Ovechkin has become the face of the franchise for his on ice goal scoring abilities, rather than for his social work and ability to lead his teammates. As we’ve talked about, an NHL captain must be as strong off the ice as he is on it, supporting players through non hockey related matters, being a public figure and supporting the direction and leadership of his coaches and management.

Yet Ovechkin is not a strong off ice leader. It is rare for Ovechkin to make significant contributions in the Washington area, spending the majority of his time away from the rink at home in Russia, particularly during the offseason, contributing little to his local community. Further, Ovechkin is known for his inability and unwillingness to interact with coaching and management, often going against their coaching decisions which have led to the recent hiring of Barry Trotz, the fifth coach of Ovechkin’s career.

“If Ovi is willing to listen, he’s going to have a chance to do some great team things”  – Barry Trotz

Simply put, Alexander Ovechkin is an NHL captain who plays as an individual. Despite his goal scoring prowess, Ovechkin has nothing to show for his career other than, you guessed it, individual awards. Sure Ovechkin is a talented player, but both his on and off ice conduct are that of an individual player, rather than the leader of a team of players. Until Alex decides he wants to lead his team, both on and off the ice through his play and societal contributions, he will remain as the NHL player most undeserving of his role as team captain.


Have a differing opinion? Leave a Comment!

48 thoughts on “The Top 3 Most Undeserving NHL Captains”

  1. ummm brown plays for the kings if you hadn’t noticed… for some reason one of the most offensively challenged teams in the league… but. everyones numbers are down. not just brown’s. just ask yourself one question… IF brown went to Free Agency or WAS up for trade… How many teams in the NHL would give up the farm to get him? almost every single team. why? because he is a great player, great leader, and a great team guy with character, and gets down and dirty when it matters… EVERY team wants a player like that…

  2. Wow. Opinion is one thing but opinion without an understanding of what Brown does for the Kings on and off the ice is just nonsense on stilts. Captains set culture in the room. Yes, there are a lot of solid character veterans on the club, but every one of them will tell you Brown’s their leader. As for offensive production, hardly a valid criterion. And your “demotion” crack is simply wrong too. Sutter (and Lombardi as he’s building the team) slots players where they will excel and where they will cause the opponent the most trouble. Brown travels between lines one and three depending on the game circumstances, and who Sutter thinks is the best fit on a particular line.
    It was an interesting read, and you got people commenting. Good on you for that!

  3. There are some factual flaws that need to be corrected in the assessment of Dustin Brown’s offense. Firstly, his offense tailed off for just one year, not the past two: in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, he was on pace for 32 goals over an 82 game season.

    Secondly, you say that after 2007-08, his production “has become stagnant and basically disappeared”. Actually, up until this past season, he’s been an incredibly consistent 20+ goal, 50+ point producer. No, he won’t come close to leading the league in any offensive categories, but he’s a valuable top-six forward that any team would be glad to have.

    After two Cups, there is no chance the Kings will rip the ‘C’ off Dustin Brown’s sweater to give it to Justin Williams or anyone else. He LED the Kings to two championships. You can’t ask for anything more than that from your captain.

  4. Nice hack job. Bash TO, probably your #1 rival, then the Kings who have won 2 cups in the last 3 seasons and the Lazy 8. So I am assuming “Trade Me Now” Spezza with his stellar defensive prowess at a slim -26 vs. OV’s -35 kept him off the list. Or was it Spezza’s fine display of leadership by wearing the C and behind closed doors outside of team mates ears request a trade that kept him off the list. Sorry I will take Brown, his lack of points thru a season where he was bothered by off season knee surgery, leading a team of leaders and 2 Stanley cups over the likes of you captain last season Jason Spezza any day.

    Enjoy another season of futility in Ottawa.

    • He isn’t from Ottawa, he’s from the Toronto area, so I don’t think the Leafs are his #1 rival. Also, Jason Spezza isn’t a captain… so how could you expect his to be on this list?

    • Exactly Jeff. And look at who was the best player on the ice for the biggest game in LAK history, June 11, 2012. And look at who was the best player on the ice for the game that put the Kings in the Final again, June 1, 2014, the culmination of the most high-level Stanley Cup Playoff series ever played. Take a look at those kind of big games. Who’s the first star? The best captain in hockey, that’s who. Brown says, “we expect a lot from each other” — that’s why the Kings are hard to beat, and that attitude _absolutely_starts with the captain. Ask Kopitar, Williams, or Doughty. I posted this and more earlier. The post was promptly axed. Curious to see if this comment is allowed.

  5. You argue that on ice play should be boiled down to offensive numbers, then proceed to criticize the first two guys for poor offensive results. You completely ignore other aspects of their game, like tenacious forechecking and hitting by Brown for example. You then ditch your previous argument on Ovechkin and criticize his poor play off the puck, completely ignoring his offensive production.

    But your whole argument is based on a misunderstanding of what makes a great captain on the ice anyways, as numbers have never really been the defining characteristics of the game’s great leaders to begin with. Suggesting that a guy that just won the Mark messier award, had an A on his sweater at the Olympics, and has captained a team from the basement to 2 stanley cups in the past 3 years is a real head scratcher. I won’t claim him to be the best captain in the game, but he’s certainly recognized by his peers as one of the “guys” to turn to for leadership.

    • My basis for what I consider a great captain is a player who has a strong all around game, both offensively and defensively, as well as has strong off and on ice leadership. I acknowledged that Brown plays a different role than the typical captain, in that his game is based largely on physicality, and that he is a great leader; yet what gives me the perception of underserving is his lack of offensive production. Take for example a captain such as Crosby, Toews, or Giroux; all three are strong offensively and defensively while are also strong in terms of leadership both on and off the ice and can be seen as complete players. Brown tends to make up for his lack of offensive production through his physical game, yet I personally see the physical aspect of his game as inferior to strong offensive production, as I feel it is more valuable in leading your team to success. Ultimately it boils down to opinion, in mine, Brown’s lack of offense, and Ovechkin lack of defense inhibit them from becoming complete NHL captains, something which is the norm for current great NHL captains.

  6. Brett…The Kings are a team with roles. It is the Captain’s responsibility to make sure players play those roles. Brown delivers hits that change momentum, not score 5 goals in 6-5 losses. There are more aspects to the game than just putting up numbers, unless you are counting Stanley Cups.

  7. Brett,

    Not sure I follow the logic on Dustin Brown. You define the role of the captain as follows; “the role of a team captain is to display traits which represent the direction of his team and the character of his fellow teammates.”

    Dustin Brown seems to do that very well. He’s gritty, and while he may not necessarily score a lot, he gets involved, lays out the body, and competes game in and game out. His never give up attitude, seems to be the same resiliency that the Kings demonstrated when they came from behind during their 2014 run.

    He might not be the best player, but he seems to fit your definition of the role pretty well.

  8. Hmmm… I never thought of the captaincy of a team as a position that required offensive statistics. I thought it was more about leadership. Silly me, thinking Dustin Brown was a great leader for actually leading his team to two cups and being able to change the course of a game with one well-placed hit.

  9. It’s bad enough that LA gets this Left Coast bias from the East, but now for you Canadian writers to state this b.s., well two cups in three years tell the rest of us something you might have missed.

  10. Take into account the fact that Brown and Ovechkin have had multiple coaches in their careers. Different coaches use different players in different roles. Brown for instance had a lot more offensive freedown early on under Marc Crawford and Terry Murray. Now he is in a defensive minded system under Darryl Sutter, and he does excel defensively.

  11. Are you kidding. How does the Devils Bryce Salvador not make your list. He is not only #1 but the most worthless Captain in the history of any sport ever. He has 1 goal in the last 3 years.

  12. So your only criteria that makes Brown and Phaneuf undeserving is their statistics.
    That’s as myopic as myopic gets.
    I agree about Ovechkin.
    But what you fail to understand is that what a Captain does off of the ice is far more important than their production on the ice.

  13. It’s curious that posts that closely detail precisely where the writer has gone down in flames– no foul language, just the actual and countermanding facts of history — get deleted.

  14. Your production level doesn’t make a good captain. It needs to be someone who can motivate his teammates, display the core values of the coach and management, and have a presence on the ice. Dustin Brown has all those things. I agree he isn’t as big a producer as others, but he congeals the team as a unit, and that’s really the captain’s job, not getting more goals than anyone else.

  15. If Crosby ” lacks the intangibles of good leadership”, how does this reflect on, say, the “Best Player in the World”, Claude Giroux? Who did he ever beat? Where is his gold medal? Cup Ring? He does have hand cuffs though.

  16. I’m a flyers fan and have no attachment to any of these guy and idk who writes these but all of these guys are more than deserving to wear the C on their chest. pure opinion.

  17. What is the definition of “deserving?” This essentially falls into the argument of “only high scoring players should be paid the most and given any acknowledgment.”

    I don’t think the media has the ability to make that call. I believe the locker room and coaching staff makes that call and no one else.

  18. A lack of offensive production is a silly argument regarding quality of captaincy. Saying Dustin Brown is undeserving of captaincy in any capacity is kind of ridiculous, since he’s consistently been chosen as a leader of Team USA. Brown served as an assistant in the last two Olympics, and captained the team at the Worlds in 2009. Of course this is an opinion piece, but I think the leaders of our national team have a little more credibility when it comes to determining who is deserving of a leadership role.

  19. More LA KINGS bashing from a Canadian whose team won’t hoist the cup. Two cups in three years and a trip to the western conference final in between. Yeah, you’re right, Dustin Brown isn’t worthy.

  20. Take it easy with the hate of OV. Who is more ‘deserving’ of wearing the C on the Caps? Mike Green? Brooks Laich? Gimme a break but the Caps don’t have a true captain but OV is certainly not to blame.

  21. The moment Ovechkin was made captain everyone knew it was a bad call. He didn’t ask to be, they just did it. It took focus from his game and he had to grow into the roll, which took even more focus from his game. It’s not that he is undeserving, it was simply not ideal. Why it was done I don’t know (and don’t care), I just want Ovechkin to score goals (as does Ovechkin).

  22. Too funny that some have to bring up Crosby. He has nothing to do with the article. As for Crosbys leadership, do some research and find out what Mike Babcock had to say about Sids leadership. First player on the ice at practice, last to leave. One of , if not the hardest working player in the game. Leaders lead by example. What do you think his team mates think when they see their captain display that kind of dedication? Off the ice? Can’t count how many times I have seen videos of him visiting sick children in the hospital and spending time with them. Hate on Sid all you want. He is a human being and has his faults like we all do but the bottom line is, how often has he been surrounded by controversy of a serious nature? Unlike numerous other pro athletes, the guy isn’t out doing stupid sh#t every other day of the week. Haters gonna hate I guess.

  23. Where does Crosby fall? While he is extremely talented when it comes to scoring points I think he lacks the intangibles of good leadership. That goes double in the postseason.

  24. While I agree with part of your assessment of Dustin Brown’s on-ice presence, I’ll ask that you consider the long-term picture.

    When Brown was named captain of the Kings prior to the start of the 2008 season, he had decent scoring stats, but where he really led the team was with his physical play, demonstrated by being at the top of the league in hits. And you have to remember that his performance was on a team that had consistently missed the playoffs for a number of seasons.

    We all know that the Kings showed steady improvement over the following several years, culminating in three consecutive trips to the conference finals and two Stanley Cup championships.

    What I guess I’m getting at here is that at one point in his career, he had the kind of on-ice performance that would be expected of a “good” NHL captain. As his team improved over several seasons, his production seemed to slip (with the notable exception of the 2012 Stanley Cup run) with several of his teammates being notably better on the ice.

    However — and I think this is the more important question — how do you take the captaincy away from a guy who’s done everything you could ask for so many years, especially when your team has gone from being one of the worst to one of the best in the league and is a repeat Cup winner?

    I will not lie, I’m not a particular fan of Dustin Brown’s play. Too often, he tries to be too cutesy with the puck, he’s not a particularly good playmaker, and oh lord, how I despise his diving proclivities. But I do appreciate that he’s a devastating hitter, who intimidates the other team, and as you have pointed out in the article, he’s been a terrific leader off the ice.

    The Kings are about team. They win and lose as a team. Who is captain is probably less important on the Kings than on other teams.

  25. When you win a Stanley cup, let alone 2 in 3 years. Not a single move made in the past 5 years was a bad move. You won the Stanley cup, you did everything correctly. Having Dustin Brown as your captain was the correct move.

  26. When I saw the headline, I wanted to see which 3 were chosen, knowing full well that my team’s captain, Dustin Brown, wouldn’t be one of them. Dude, you lose all credibility with me.

    • Everyone is entitled to an opinion. If it conflicts with yours, it doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Don’t get me wrong, i think Brown is a great off ice leader, but for me he just doesn’t play the type of all around strong game that the majority of NHL captains do.

    • John, hes not even the fourth most deserving player on his team to wear the C, hes behind kopitar, doughty, carter and williams. He just happens to have been there b4 those guys arrived

      • Oh for God’s, sake. Doughty as Captain? LMFAO Carter? Dude who just wants to be left alone and who does little on off days besides relax and prep for the next game? Ditto for Williams. They don’t WANT to be Captain. Captain takes up a boatload of time that has nothing to do with playing, involving things these guys are fine at, but would way rather not be doing on a night in and out basis. And again… DOUGHTY???? Drew would be the first guy to laugh you out of the room.

        The reason Brownie is a great Captain is because he, and Greene and Stoll take care of all the things that can be problems, or need to be taken care of….on the ice, in the locker room, and off the ice. This allows the great talents to be just that, the great talents. Both Williams and Mike Richards have talked about how great it is that Brownie takes care of all the off ice and media things, so they never have to worry about them. A great Captain is someone who makes their team perform at the highest level it can. For the Kings, Brownie is that guy.

        Also, he performed quite well offensively until he hurt his knee. The team and he have both acknowledged that he was playing some weeks early last year when he might have been at less than 100% ready, and that it wasn’t until after the Olympics that he was able to finally skate freely again. Basing his worthiness is a joke for one seasons falling off, when he was injured, especially when playing D, hitting, and being a physical presence are what he’s paid to do, not score so much.

        • Andrew – walk away now. Fin just KOd you 10 seconds into the “fight”. I posted something below but Fin even blew me away. He/She NAILED IT EXACTLY. Your choices are 4 of the worst.

  27. I am a lonnnnng time diehard Kings’ fan. I got back to the 70s and “Maguire’s Mess” and when Rogie Vachon played for “us.” Phaneuf and Ovechkin are good choices – especially the latter. But DUSTIN BROWN? Seriously? We both agree OFF the ice is where he is the better leader – stuff we can’t see on the ice. And while I grant you he will never be confused for Crosby or the Sedin Sisters as far as scoring he makes his impact on the game and on the ice with his body. When he is on the ice the other team better know it or they will soon find out the hard way. He plays right up to the edge and non Kings’ fans would say he plays “over” it. But he takes many penalties and puts his team on the PP. Make no mistake about it – Dustin IS the leader of this team and 10-1 the last 3 seasons says it all………………….IF you want an Undeserving Captain get on the 5-Freeway and go 30-ish miles South on the corner of Katella/Douglas – across the street from Anaheim Stadium. The last 2 years the Inferior SoCal NHL Team has had a great Regular Season and come up small in the post-season. If you want a big time UNdeserving Captain, Ryan Getzlaf is your guy. His team comes up short all of the time under his “leadership” and while he might be great ON the ice – OFF it he is not and his team gagging in the post-season tells me more about his short comings than that of Dustin Brown.

    • I don’t think Brown is a terrible captain, but your critique of Getzlaf is very, very ridiculous. As a Pens fan from Ohio, I admit that I have to stay up late to watch west coast games, but I try hard to get as many as I can in because I think the west is so exciting to watch. Its much more competitive I think. California is pretty exciting right now for hockey. One thing I have never understood is why, even after the last 3 years, kings fans seem to have such a jealousy towards a “little brother” in Anaheim. I’m starting to think most of the ones who post online are trolls and I don’t believe for a second that you have been a fan since the 70’s. A fan like that would have realized how close the series was between LA and Anaheim. For the most part, the ducks carried the better of the play, until game 7. LA was very lucky to get out of that series after the way things looked in the first 5 games (I watched them all.) If not for the last 7 seconds of game 1, the ducks probably would’ve won that series quickly. Why do kings fans talk like they swept their way to the finals?

      Also, Getzlaf is a great captain in my opinion. He has a Stanley Cup and two gold medals, which is something Brown, as a “leader,” couldn’t accomplish. I recently read about Getzlaf and Perry starting a camp for kids in Cali that drew pretty well. Getzlaf is well known for his work raising money to fight muscular dystrophy. Also, he personally pays for underprivileged kids to attend minor hockey games in Calgary. Tho I haven’t heard much, most of what I’ve read about Brown off the ice has been about the endeavors of his wife, rather than him. The kings are definitely a better playoff team, but taking the eventual Cup winners to game 7, does not in any way qualify as “gagging.”

  28. I am surprised that you didn’t list Bryce Salvador. At least Brown contributes something to his team. Salvador hurts his team whenever he is on the ice and is probably not even an NHL calibre player any longer.

  29. Cam
    Very good comment, I had the same exact conflicts. Don’t think this matters a whole bunch on the Kings – team starts out with a whole bunch of veterans who are EXTREMELY focused to begin with. You saw how valuable that was in the playoffs.

  30. Let me get this right. You said a captain should be the best player on his team, and yet you listed Ovechkin on here? A captain doesn’t have to be the best player on your team.

    • I agree with you that a captain doesn’t have to be a team’s best player, case in point; Mark Giordano. Regarding Ovechkin, stating he is the team’s best player is an argument at best. Sure he can score, but that doesn’t make him the best player on the team. Like is said, he is a one way player who doesn’t play a 200 foot game, making him the best offensive player, but one of the worst defensively, giving him a mediocore all around game.

  31. Devin,

    A well written article. I thought your choice to include Dustin Brown on this list was interesting. I agree that Brown’s numbers are way below where a captain’s statistics should be. However, I do believe that his leadership and physical presence are outstanding. He can intimidate opponents and create defensive turnovers. However, is that enough? I don’t know. Anyways, a very nice read!

    • Hey Cam,

      Just wanted to let you know my name is Brett, but I am Devin’s brother, no hard feelings.
      I agree with you regarding Brown. His style of play is much different than the typical NHL captain, such as Crosby or Giroux. Off the ice and on he is indeed a strong leader, however I felt that his offensive production, or lack there of, is what inhibits Brown from becoming a great NHL captain.

      • Brett, I might agree with you that the falling numbers inhibits him from being a great captain. His occasional dive and borderline legal physical play does too. But when you consider the off-ice and social work elements, how does this combine to make him #29?

        Brown was a shy kid when he got here and even in all of the 2012 Stanley Cup videos, it was hard to tell if he had become a vocal leader. In the 2014 videos, there is no question about it. He is 100 percent the vocal and physical leader of this hockey team.

        I’m not saying he’s top 5 or even 10. I don’t know the list well enough. But to put him in the bottom 10 doesn’t fit.

      • I forgot to mention that this topic brings to mind another article I’d like to see. It could even be a list but I’d like to know about teams who ripped the captaincy away from a current player and gave it to another one (who fills your credentials). Did they get better or worse?

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