Monday, July 30, 2007

The Captain Question



When I first heard that Bill Guerin was named captain, I assumed it was something that was negotiated and agreed to before he chose to sign here. Basically a prerequisite for coming to the Island. Later that day, I read that he was completely shocked by the move. I was skeptical at first, assuming that it was just a PR move and he really knew all along it was going to happen. But then I watched the video from the press conference, and I believe he was genuinely surprised. While I think Guerin will be a good captain and provide solid leadership, it does pose a few interesting questions.

First, does it make sense to give the "C" to a guy who hasn't spent any time, let alone met, most of the team? He's a veteran player that seems to be well respected, but there's no guarantee how he'll fit in with the team or if he's our best option for leadership in a locker room with other veteran leaders. How does it affect guys like Witt or Sillinger, who have an established presence with the team, to not be given the opportunity to earn the captaincy in camp? If the team doesn't feel Guerin's earned it, will it make it harder for him to command the respect he needs as captain?

Second, being a captain is an honor that most players take seriously. We've seen situations where players have turned down the "C" because they either felt unworthy or unwilling to take on the responsibility (see Jagr, Jonsson). Shouldn't the idea have been discussed with Guerin before the introductory press conference? Maybe he would have felt more comfortable earning it at the end of camp. Either way, he would have had input into how it was done.

My feeling is, there's no real benefit to handing out the "C" the way the Isles did. If you believe Guerin is your guy, give it to him during or after camp. That way, there is a sense that it is earned. Plus, if you learn during camp that he is not the right leader for this team, you have other candidates to choose from. I'm confident it will all work out. Let's hope it does, because after the last few years of Yashin's mismatched leadership we need a new face for the franchise.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good Post Man
I like your idea of a new blog to get away a little from newsday which obviously has turned for the worse. Greg Logans blogs are great but the comments ruin it. I would of been happy to see Witt be captain, but Im cool with Guerin. Hes 36 and the captaincy should motivate him to put up another good year or two.
Mikey

Mike Carey said...

Thanks. This blog will be running all season, and starting in a week or so it'll be accessible through a link from the Isles official site. I think you're right...Guerin seems well respected throughout the league, and he's not yet at a point where his reputation far exceeds his production. I like the makeup of the team. Probably not fighting for a top seed, but I think #5 to #8 is realistic, with the ability to make some noise in the playoffs.

Anonymous said...

Yea i totally agree with you. I think alot of people forget that the potential of our team is very high. What if Trent Hunter finally emerges as a consistent goal scorer? Bergenheim and Tambellini can both put in 10-20 goals this year i believe. I think Tambellini could of done it last year if he wasnt stuck on the fourth line gettin 5 minutes a game. Vasicek once had a very promising future but after the lockout couldnt quite put it all together again. I love thinking about the potential Comrie has. The guy has scored 30 goals twice i think already and hes only 26. Give this guy #1 center ice time, I could see him scoring 30-35 goals this year. Add to the mix Sutton, Sim, Fedotenko, and the continued development of Campoli and Gervais who will only get better, I dont think were as bad as many people predict.
Mike W (mikey)

Mike Carey said...

Yeah, I've resigned myself to the fact that we'll never get respect in the league. There's been too much side-show type of stuff in recent years with ownership, the GM situation, Yashin's buyout...etc. All I care about as a fan is the team on the ice and wins and losses. I agree with all your points. Even a guy like Sim, who I never really heard of before we got him, put up 17 goals with no real ice time last year. We've got upwards of 8 or 9 20+ goal scorers on this team (Guerin, Comrie, Sillinger, Satan, Hunter, Fedotenko, Bergeron, plus Bergenheim/Tambellini depending on ice time). If DP can be as good or better than last year, we should be more than respectable.

Anonymous said...

what do you think of the islanders bringing in Berard for a tryout?
Mike

Mike Carey said...

I actually have mixed feelings about Berard. I think we'd have to assume that a roster spot for Berard would mean a demotion for either Campoli or Gervais. Based on the way Nolan played them last year, I'm assuming it would be Campoli who was sent down. I'd hate to see that happen. The guy had a great rookie year, and I think part of his early struggles last year were due to a lack of confidence (after he got healthy, they refused to call him up for a long time). If he can get back to rookie season form, he obviously has a lot more upside than Berard. I want to see both young guys stay with the team and continue to develop. All that said, any competition in camp is a good thing...hopefully Berard's presence would make all the other guys step their games up even more.