The Calgary Flames have no captain, as you may have heard. Incumbent captain Mark Giordano was left unprotected in July’s expansion draft and was selected by the Seattle Kraken, leaving the position vacant.
As training camp opened over the last few days, key members of the Flames’ front office have made comments to the media that don’t make it seem like they’re in a huge rush to name a replacement.
Here’s what general manager Brad Treliving said on Wednesday:
I don’t think you can name a captain just so you can check a box and say that you have that stroked off the list. Darryl and I have talked a lot about it, and I think that’s something that’s going to have to play itself out over camp and we’re going to see in the coming days.
On Thursday, head coach Darryl Sutter added a bit of context to Treliving’s statement.
Advertisement
Ad
To be quite honest I’ve been on championship teams that changed captains and it was never about the C, it was about the leadership group. And I think that’s really important for this team. That’s an earned position, that’s not a given position.
[He was asked a brief follow-up.]
I haven’t even given it much thought. I’ve talked to Brad a little bit, it’s really not that big an issue. I think what’s more important is the group itself, the leadership group. This organization was very fortunate to have, just off the top of my mind, some great captains when you look at, even just look at the last two: Gio and Jarome. Is there anybody in that class? Those guys were great captains ’cause maybe they had guys around them, too. That’s the next part. It’s the evolution of this group and the maturity in terms of the age of it.
The Flames’ formal leadership group includes holdover alternate captains Mikael Backlund, Sean Monahan and Matthew Tkachuk. Chris Tanev wore the alternate captain’s A last season while Monahan was injured, and Milan Lucic has also worn an A during his career in various stops.
Advertisement
Ad
The Flames have had a full-time captain for every season since 1990-91, when they had rotating captains and alternates following the departure of then-captain Brad McCrimmon in an off-season trade. The team’s options are to either name a full-time captain (and go with a captain and two alternates for each game) or decline to do so (and go with three alternates instead).
Only time will tell if someone emerges during camp to claim the C, or if the Flames opt for a more conservative approach. Either way, brass doesn’t seem to be in a big hurry to stitch the letter to somebody’s chest.