Countdown 13: No. 5 Question; Who Will Wear The Letters?
Sunday, 10.02.2011 / 7:26 PM / Countdown To Home Opener 2011
By Glenn Odebralski - FloridaPanthers.com
|Center Stephen Weiss has been an alternate captain for the Panthers the last four seasons. Will he have a different letter on his jersey this season?
With so many new faces looking to come together in such a short period of time in hopes of success, the question seems to be; who will the team leaders be?
It's been asked by media members on a weekly basis. Who will be named the seventh captain in franchise history for the upcoming season. There's also the question of who will be named the alternate captains.
It will probably be one of the earliest questions answered this season as head coach Kevin Dineen has said that the leadership group should be named prior to the start of the season.
So who are some of the candidates?
There are plenty of players who have been in the "leadership" group whether it has been on the Panthers or with another team. Stephen Weiss, the longest tenured Panther, has been an alternate captain the past four seasons. A consumate pro, Weiss leads by example. Then there's former Panthers first round pick Ed Jovanovski who before returning to South Florida was an alternate captain with Phoenix and even wore the 'C' while Shane Doan was suspended this past year and was also an alternate captain with Vancouver. Defenseman Brian Campbell has held the position of both captain (December 2007) and alternate captain before with Buffalo. Panthers defenseman Mike Weaver was an alternate captain after being given an 'A' following the trade deadline this past season.
Other players have held leadership positions on their countrie's teams at world tournaments.
Looking at the pre-season, the Panthers have put the 'A' on several players. That list includes Jovanovski, Weaver and Weiss, Tomas Fleischmann, Kris Versteeg, Jason Garrison, Tomas Kopecky, Marcel Goc, Steve Reinprecht, David Booth and Sean Bergenheim. In the last three games, the alternates were Weiss, Jovanovski and Kopecky (vs Tampa on September 24), Fleischmann, Versteeg and Garrison (vs Dallas on September 27) and Fleischmann, Jovanovski and Weaver (at Dallas on September 29).
When it comes to naming the team leaders, another question comes to mind. How will the alternates fall? Will Dineen and his coaching staff decide on a rotating position or have four alternates (two for home, two for road or an every other game kind of thing) or will they just go with a normal, captain and two alternates look.
Look for this question to be answered relatively soon.