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Handicapping potential Calgary Flames captaincy candidates

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Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
3 months ago
The Calgary Flames have been without a captain since Mark Giordano was claimed by the Seattle Kraken in the expansion draft. After going with no formal captain last season, we pondered earlier this week if the Flames need a captain for the coming season.
If you’re thinking they do, here are a handful of potential contenders for that job.
We’re excluding Sean Monahan and Milan Lucic, as they’re each in the final year of their current contracts and it wouldn’t make sense to give somebody the C if they might be gone in another season.

Mikael Backlund

The Flames’ first-round selection in 2007, Backlund is the longest-tenured current Flame and one of the longest-tenured Flames in club history. (He’s tied for third all-time in games played with Robyn Regehr.) Backlund’s been a full-time NHLer since 2010 and has been an alternate captain since 2018. He’s experienced with a C, too, having led Sweden to gold at the 2018 World Hockey Championship.

Jonathan Huberdeau

The team’s newest player is also coming off a 115-point season. He’s also suddenly the team’s highest-paid player and on the longest contract, so a C for Huberdeau would be a step towards long-term stability. He’s been an alternate captain for the past four seasons in Florida, but it would be pretty unusual for a player to be named captain before playing a single game for a new team.

Chris Tanev

The Flames’ heart-and-soul, and arguably their best defender over the past few seasons, Tanev wore an A last season. (He was officially the fourth alternate, but he wore it full-time after Monahan was out for surgery.) Tanev’s under contract for awhile and is a respected veteran who wore an A in Vancouver previously, so it wouldn’t be a stretch for him to get consideration here.

Elias Lindholm

The Selke Trophy runner-up last season, Lindholm was one of the Flames’ most important players. With Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk elsewhere, he may be the Flames’ most important incumbent (aside from perhaps Jacob Markstrom). Lindholm plays big minutes in every situation, and will likely be first over the boards whenever anything crucial is happening. That might be as good a reason as any for him to wear a letter.
If the Flames have a captain in 2022-23, who do you think it should be? Sound off in the comments!

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