Joe Thornton was recently named as the eighth captain of the San Jose Sharks, and there have already been questions raised as to whether or not he is the right person for the job. It’s an interesting concept, that fans and sports analysts can tell whether or not specific players would be a good leader for a specific team. But what are the requirements of a hockey captain?
Surprisingly, not much, at least officially.
The main role of captains on the ice is to be the go-to person to talk to referees about rule discrepancies, but even that is fairly unimportant since the Canucks did so for the last two years with their goaltender as the ‘captain’. But we all know it is about the intangibles. The referee chatter is just something logical to put in the NHL rulebook. This is what a captain actually does: