The topic of who will be named the Ottawa Senators‘ next captain is a popular one among fans. The Senators have been left without a captain since Erik Karlsson was traded to the San Jose Sharks in September of 2018. For a while, it seemed like Mark Stone was destined to take over the captaincy, up until he too was traded in February of the following year.
Since then, the topic of the Senators’ captaincy has been talked about by “Sens Sickos” all over social media, and fans have been left restless by the fact the Senators are one of only two teams in the league without a captain. With the team likely to name a captain at some point in the next year, I am gonna take a look at three players we might see named the Ottawa Senators’ next captain.
Who Will Be The Ottawa Senators’ Next Captain?
Now before you copy and paste this article to your friends calling me an idiot, hear me out. Although Tim Stützle is the least likely on this list of three to be named the Ottawa Senators’ next captain, there is an argument to be made that he has a chance.
For one, over the past few months we have seen Stützle, or as his teammates call him, “Jimmy”, become a player favorite. Whether it is the on-ice antics during practice or laughs shared with roommate Brady Tkachuk, his teammates have clearly taken a liking to the young german phenom.
As per the fans, well, they have been going crazy about the young gun since the late Alex Trebek said his name on draft night. It is pretty hard not to like the kid in all fairness. After putting up fantastic numbers at the World Juniors, Stützle joined the Senators and added that energy into the lineup that has been missing for so long.
Do I think this will happen? No. But, if it did, I would honestly understand. It would not be the first time a player this young has been given the “C”, I mean Sidney Crosby and Gabriel Landeskog both got it around Stützle’s age, and they remain the captains of their respective squads to this day. Although “Jimmy” is who I believe to be least likely to become Captain on this list, I would not rule it out just yet.
Being the oldest on this list of who could be the Ottawa Senators’ next captain, Thomas Chabot is often considered one of the favorites to get the “C” sewn on the top left side of his jersey. Although the core piece of the Senators’ back end is only 24 years of age, he happens to be one of the longest-standing members on the team’s roster.
If Chabot were to be named captain, one could expect him to be a lead by example type of guy. Although none of us really know what goes on behind the scenes, Chabot has always come across as a guy that likes to let his game speak for him. Since the departure of Erik Karlsson, Chabot has taken over as the team’s leader in defenseman points on an annual basis. In this time, Chabot has been responsible for some pretty ridiculous end-to-end rushes ending up on the highlight reels and is now being considered a heavy favorite to make the 2022 Canadian Men’s Olympic Roster.
As far as already established leadership roles on the team, the young defenseman got the “A” on his chest for the first time in late 2019 and has been an assistant captain this entire season. What makes Chabot all the more possible to be named the next Captain is his commitment to the squad. In September of 2019, Chabot inked an 8 year deal with Senators that sees him remaining under contract with the team until 2028. Realistically, having an all-star defenseman who is signed onto a long-term contract as your captain isn’t the worst look.
But still, I have a feeling Chabot will remain the assistant when the time comes to name a new captain. Under normal circumstances, a guy like Chabot would easily be the best choice, but it seems more likely the next guy on this list will have the “C” sewn to his jersey come next year.
Brady Tkachuk has exemplified the qualities a team wants in a captain and is already an assistant captain at the young age of 21. It’s not outlandish to think he can be the Ottawa Senators’ next captain. Whether it’s an unexpected comeback against the Toronto Maple Leafs or a 7-1 loss against the Vancouver Canucks, the youngest Tkachuk plays with an unmatched intensity. When the Senators drafted him 4th overall in 2018, some fans were hesitant, but man were those fans wrong. Since he stepped on the ice at the Canadian Tire Centre, Tkachuk has earned the respect of fans and his teammates alike.
Even while playing through an obvious team rebuild, Tkachuk is a stand-out. Currently leading the NHL in shots and hits, Tkachuk has displayed the grit that he likes to inject into his game that separated him from the other players in his draft class. Whether he is posted up in front of the net on the powerplay, or mixing it up with a rival player after seeing a hit he took exception to, one thing is for sure, Brady Tkachuk isn’t afraid of the rough stuff.
Off the ice, Tkachuk is composed and has spent time around one of the league’s greatest former captains, his dad, Keith Tkachuk. And hey, I may be reaching here, but having a captain that lives with the rookie that you’re hoping to build your team around (Tim Stützle), isn’t the worst advantage an organization can have when it comes time to try and ink the young German phenom to a new contract.
Lastly, one of the biggest reasons I think Tkachuk is most likely to be named the next captain stems from the words of the team’s management. When Head Coach, D.J. Smith and General Manager, Pierre Dorion were asked this past offseason about the Captain situation, they revealed that they had elected to wait until next year to name a captain.
Being this the last year in Brady Tkachuk’s entry-level contract, perhaps management is holding out on naming a captain until they have Tkachuk on a long-term contract. On top of that, a possible captaincy is a good bargaining chip to have if you’re trying to get an all-star to give you a bit of a hometown discount.
Overall, the Senators are a young team with what they hope is a bright future ahead of them. While many factors will need to be taken into account when choosing the Ottawa Senators’ next captain, it is evident they have a great group of players to choose from. One thing is for sure, the “Sickos” eagerly await the long-awaited announcement.