New York Islanders: No team Captain, no problem

New York iIslanders. Thomas Hickey (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
New York iIslanders. Thomas Hickey (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

With the loss of John Tavares still looming, the New York Islanders will be running the ship without a captain this season. However, it is not as bad as it may seem.

On July 1, 2018, the New York Islanders basically had nine years of their history scrapped. John Tavares signed with his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs during free agency.

Tavares is top-ten in most Islanders statistics all-time, a five-time all-star, and was the captain of the team since 2013-14 following the departure of Mark Streit.

Now, for the first time since the 1996-97 season, the Islanders will be dealing with something that is often perceived as a “lack of leadership” by some fans of the sport, there will be no captain.

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There have been nine captains since the last captain-less season, with Tavares being the longest-tenured.

We already know that there will be no captain as new Islanders Head Coach Barry Trotz recently told the media that the Islanders will be just fine without one. I have to agree.

There is easily much room for debate on who should captain the ship next, but there is no clear-cut answer yet.

The arguments on who’s next ranges from current alternates Andrew Ladd and Cal Clutterbuck to the team’s top players such as Mathew Barzal, Josh Bailey and Anders Lee, and even the longer-tenured guys such as Casey Cizikas and Thomas Hickey.

Well, maybe they could all be captains, even without a letter?

Take a look at the Vegas Golden Knights leadership group.

I know it’s a different situation with them being an expansion team, but with players like Deryk Engelland, James Neal, and now-Islanders defenseman Luca Sbisa, along with three other alternates leading the charge, they worked as a cohesive group.

They had more than a full lineup of leaders and game-changers each and every night in that locker room. That is the way that Trotz is going to make sure the Islanders run this season.

The Islanders will have a locker room full of leaders each and every night, and it spreads out miles wide.

Ranging from new veterans such as Sbisa, Valtteri Filppula, and Leo Komarov to young guns like Barzal and Ryan Pulock, and most importantly the long-time Islanders like Clutterbuck, Bailey, Lee, Cizikas, Hickey, and Matt Martin (despite taking a Toronto hiatus).

Next. Lou Lamoriello is not messing around. dark

The Islanders leadership core looks as strong as ever, even without John Tavares, because players win games. Teams win championships. That is what the Islanders’ goal is this season. Win the Stanley Cup and prove them wrong.