Max Pacioretty’s departure from Montreal ended a long saga, filled with rumours and intrigue.
But it also sparked a brand new debate.
The Canadiens now have a decision to make with regards to the captaincy. They could go without a captain entirely, as they did in 2014-15, following Brian Gionta’s departure, and in 2009-10 after Saku Koivu left town.
Or they could pick from one of these three qualified candidates:
1. Shea Weber
If you’re looking at resumes, nobody’s will beat Shea Weber.
Captain of the Nashville Predators for six seasons, he exudes leadership. The team’s No. 1 defenceman, he brings skill, toughness, and class to the game. He also has experience in big games, most notably with Team Canada at the Olympics.
The only question mark with Weber is his health.
Appearing in just 26 games last season, the 33-year-old is expected to be out of the lineup until at least December after undergoing knee surgery in July.
He’s a great leader, but it’s hard to lead from the press box.
2. Brendan Gallagher
With the Canadiens going through a youth movement of sorts, perhaps it makes sense to select a younger player as the next captain.
Just 26-years-old, Brendan Gallagher is already one of the longest-serving active Habs players. A heart and soul type, it’s impossible to ever question his effort level. Surely that rubs off on other players.
Not only does he work hard, he produces. The undersized winger was one of few players on the Canadiens to have a good season last year, scoring 31 goals and 54 points to lead the team.
If there’s someone who can lead by example, it’s Gallagher.
3. Tomas Plekanec
Tomas Plekanec is back!
Signing a one-year contract with Montreal following a short-term stay in Toronto, Plekanec was brought back because of his experience.
Drafted by the Canadiens in 2001, nobody else has more experience within the organization than Plekanec.
While not overly vocal, Plekanec could be a stop-gap choice. Management could give Plekanec the C for one season, before selecting a longer-term choice in a year from now.
Then next off-season we can go through all of this again.