There will be no captain of the Ottawa Senators’ ship this season.
General manager Pierre Dorion and coach D.J. Smith are going to hold off on putting the ‘C’ on anybody’s chest for the second straight year and, instead, the club will name three alternates.
“I don’t think it’s necessary (to have a captain),” Smith said in an interview. “We’re going to have three ‘A’’s, three older guys and they’re going to share the responsibility. A year from now it would be nice to integrate some of these younger guys and kind of get a look as to see who’s the captain and who’s going to be the captain going forward.
“The older guys will carry the brunt for the year.”
The Senators don’t want young players like Thomas Chabot, Brady Tkachuk and Colin White to have to carry the load of speaking to the media on a daily basis to answer for what’s happening with the club. He’d like to see the club’s veterans at the forefront this year.
How much will Smith rely on them?
“Tons … they’re an extension of the coaching staff, they have to be,” Smith said. “We have to be on the same page. I have to push them and they need to be pushed as well, but in saying that they need to lead the way for these young kids.
“They need to be taught how it’s in the NHL: How you work, you be a pro in practice and how you train off the ice. We’ve done a really nice job of bringing in some guys with the compliment of the players that are here. The message is clear: We want structure, we want detail and we want to create a culture where everybody is going to push each others. These older guys will be great for us.”