With one of the 2011-12 assistant captains, Ryan Suter, leaving the Nashville Predators and signing with the Minnesota Wild this off-season, many Predators fans are left with wondering a few questions. One of those questions is, Who will be the assistant captain for this season and on?
There are three players on the roster right now that would be a great fit to wear the "A" on their jersey. Read who they are and why they could be after the jump.
Before the trade deadline last year, David Poile wanted to add defensive depth going into the playoffs. Poile got what he wanted in trading for veteran and Stanley Cup winning defenseman, Hal Gill. Due to an unfortunate injury during the playoffs, Gill wasn't able to play his best hockey.
On June 28, the Nashville Predators were able to re-sign Hal Gill to a two-year, $4 million contract. Most likely, Gill will end his career in Nashville which will be pretty cool.
Gill knows what it takes to win a Stanley Cup as he won one with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009. His leadership in that locker room is as big as his size, 6'7". He is a proven winner and can lead the Predators to success in the next couple of seasons.
At only the age of 31, David Legwand has been with the Nashville Predators for his entire NHL career. Going on his fourteenth season in Nashville, Legwand is a name Preds fans will never forget. Being the first ever draft pick made by the Predators in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. Legwand has came a long way from being a "scrub" with fans disliking his play, to the role player Trotz loves.
When someone says "David Legwand", most Preds fans who have been a fan since Day 1 will think of his empty-nets. If there was a stat on how many empty-net goals Legwand has scored, he would probably end up breaking records.
Legwand deserves to be the assistant captain because he has been with the team through the thick and thin. There is no doubt, if Legwand does play his entire career with the Nashville Predators, he will be the first player ever to have his name and number in the rafters. It is not a cry for desperation at all. The first ever draft pick playing his entire career with Nashville is noteworthy and needs to be recognized.
Martin Erat is another player who is very well in the talk for wearing the "A" on his jersey. Erat, as well as Legwand, has been with the Predators for his entire career since being drafted in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft.
Being born in the Czech Republic, his his English is not so well. That is what is most likely keeping him away from wearing the "A" because a player has to be able to talk with the referee clearly.
However, if the Predators do select Erat to be the assistant captain with Shea Weber and Mike Fisher, it wouldn't be a bad move. His leadership to the other Europeans on the team could translate better than if Canadians, Weber and Fisher talked to them.
All three players are solid choices. Depending on the moves David Poile makes, like a Shane Doan, one of these three players will be the assistant captain.