The Stars’ decision to let Alex Goligoski and Vern Fiddler walk this summer created openings for two new alternate captains. Goligoski and Fiddler led by example on and off the ice. They leave big shoes (or boots) to fill.
Now with captain Jamie Benn signed to an eight-year extension, the Stars must pick his new alternate captains. Or as Game of Thrones fans might say, The Hand(s) of the King. Full disclosure: I’m a little late to the GoT party. After the Blues knocked the Stars out of the playoffs, I cured a hockey hangover by watching all six seasons of GoT.
Fortunately, the Stars have several qualified candidates to have the “A” sewn on their jerseys. There are some obvious choices. I’ll also add a couple of not so obvious choices.
Stars Alternate Captain Candidates
Jason Spezza: Stars GM Jim Nill named Spezza and Dan Hamhuis as alternate captains for Team Canada’s 2015 IIHF squad which won gold. Spezza was captain of the Ottawa Senators in 2013-14. Possible drawback: Would the letter create added pressure for Spezza?
GoT likeness: Jorah Mormont
Patrick Sharp: A former alternate captain for the Chicago Blackhawks. Sharp has the Cup winning pedigree and while he didn’t wear a letter last season, he is a team leader. Possible drawback: He will be a UFA after this season.
GoT likeness: Bronn
Dan Hamuis: Wore the “A” for Vancouver. As mentioned above Nill also selected him as an alternate for Team Canada. Will likely be logging top pair minutes with John Klingberg. Possible drawback: Not acclimated to the team or his new surroundings yet.
NHL Games Played:
Klingberg, Jo Benn, Nemeth, Oleksiak, Johns, Lindell (COMBINED) – 549
Dan Hamhuis – 872
— Josh Bogorad (@JoshBogorad) July 1, 2016
GoT likeness: Davos Seaworth
Johnny Oduya: A crafty veteran who has seen it all. His name is on the Cup and his Swedish descent is an added bonus given the Stars’ deep pool of Scandinavian born defense prospects. Paired with rookie Stephen Johns last season. Possible drawback: Will be a UFA at the end of the season.
GoT likeness: Tyrion Lannister
Tyler Seguin: Elite talent and great on ice/off ice chemistry with Jamie Benn. He is signed thru 2018-19. Could the added responsibility of a letter help to eliminate the questions about his maturity? Possible drawback: Is he ready for a bigger leadership role or better left to focus on his supreme goal scoring skills?
GoT likeness: Jaime Lannister
A Couple of Long Shots
Cody Eakin: Extremely versatile, he played on the top line down the stretch. The former Pitbull line center plays with a tenacious style. Eakin is signed thru 2019-20. Possible drawback: Is it too soon?
GoT likeness: Tormund Giantsbane
John Klingberg: At his best he rivals fellow countryman Erik Karlsson as the NHL’s most dynamic offensive defenseman. At his worst he is the catalyst of sloppy errors which expose the Stars goaltenders. Possible drawback: Is it too soon?
GoT likeness: Drogon
My guess is it will be Spezza and Hamhuis. Or maybe the Stars will choose two different alternate captains for home and away games.
Oh yeah, if you were wondering. Jamie Benn’s GoT likeness: John Snow, of course. Eventually, even in Dallas, Texas, winter is coming..