How about Andrei Markov for Habs' Captain?

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The question of the Canadiens vacant captaincy was put to former Penguins and Habs coach Michel Therrien recently, and typical of an unemployed coach, he sat on all three sides of the fence. Therrien's responses, in my opinion, don't delve too deep into the matter, but do open up the debate as to what type of player best fits the role.

Here are Therrien's quote's from the Journal piece:

"I'd have no objection to seeing Andrei Markov become the next captain of the team. What you are looking for first and foremost is a player that leads by example on the ice and shows up every game."

Bingo! Markov would be my choice as well, as of all the players on the club he fills the criteria and mandate of captain best. As Markov goes, the Habs go. He's been their key player for quite some time. He has the responsibility of being one of their higher paid players, commands the respect of his team mates, offers dependable production and is not an ongoing soap opera. Other than the fact that he doesn't speak french, you won't find a speck of dirt on the guy.

"I'd prefer a player whose actions speak for themselves on the ice. In Pittsburgh, I gave the title to Evegeny Malkin in Sidney Crosby's absense. Not only does he speak very little, he doesn't even speak english."

Therrien couldn't have gone wrong here either way, but an interesting choice for him would have been Maxime Talbot. Markov might not be the orator Obama is, but he does communicate in english much more than he is quoted using it.

"Leadership has nothing to do with seniority I don't have a problem giving the "C" to a player who is new and fits the mold." Therrien adds that the final decision falls to coach Jacques Martin.

True enough, but none of the new acquisitions truly fit the mold. Scott Gomez is not exactly Jarome Iginla.

True be, there is not an overflow of evident captaincy material on the 2009-10 Canadiens. I feel it's kind of bush to go with three alternating associate captains, especially considering the club's history. If that occurs, it will be lampooned to death.

My biggest concern with naming Markov is that it could drastically alter his psyche, considering that it does change game day routines and can unfairly place the spotlight on him, when it seems that he might prefer a certain anonymity. How he would feel having to field 30 repetitive questions after every game might mess with his genuinely jovial disposition.

Other options some may consider will be veterans Gomez, Mara and Hamrlik, though neither would quite feel right.

While it has been said that the captain's role is pure symbolism to some extent, the Habs aren't just some run of the mill hockey team. The idea of rotation might fly with the Sabres, Wild, and Islanders, but I doubt it's manageable in Montreal.

Finally, contrary to Therrien's final words, it is the Canadiens players themselves who have traditionally elected their captain. The organization has only ever named one captain, and that was Gainey in the early 1980's. Following him, were the Guy Carbonneau / Chris Chelios duo, when player voting could not break a deadlock. The Canadiens found a brilliant way of solving that one, didn't they?

So what would you choice be, if you had a vote?

Here are some options.

 

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