Today the Carolina Hurricanes announced that Justin Faulk was named as an alternate captain.
Here are a few quick thoughts on that announcement:
1) (Getting the obvious out of the way) This is well-deserved and something that most fans saw coming. I chirped about it in a “What to watch for in August” type post on August 1 which you can find HERE. But this was not even close to being a great prediction. Anyone and everyone who tracks the team closely saw this one coming because he has earned it.
2) I really like the naturalness of it being this obvious. Those letters on hockey jerseys are supposed to be a positive thing and a reward, but sometimes they become a massive weight to be carried around that can drag players down. Often the challenge is for players who project to be a leader but really are not yet. When named a captain, a player who is not already leading naturally gets a new task, way to act and/or set of responsibilities. And therein in lies the ‘weight’ when the youngster who is a good hockey player maybe is not a good leader or just is not ready to be yet.
So getting back to Justin Faulk, I have about zero concern of this being an issue for him. He took a more natural path growing to become a leader first and then as a result of this being given the badge that goes with the role he has already assumed. I think the order is important.
3) I do not like the idea of Justin Faulk taking to arms like he did in the Caps preseason game on a regular basis, but I do like the idea of adding an element of leadership with a fire that occasionally roars out in a visual way. There is less of that in today’s NHL and maybe less need for it, but I thinking having a leader (does not need to be every one) with ability to instantly spark a fire either versus an opponent or in general still has some value if done in the right way.
Put more simply: The ‘A’ is deserved. Justin Faulk has been acting in this role already. I like the move.