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DeBoer: “I’m A Believer In A Captain”

Since the beginning, the Golden Knights have had 23 captains. Technically, they’ve had about 10 with a variety of players wearing “A’s” through the first three seasons, but the underlying mantra of “23 captains” has been a part of the fabric of the Golden Knights’ locker room since they first got together back in September of 2017.

With the new coach in town, that could be changing in the very near future.

I’m a believer in a captain and I think we have a lot of candidates in that dressing room. I’m still getting to know the group, but that’s something I’ll have to discuss with Bill Foley and George and Kelly and see what their feeling is on it. -Pete DeBoer on VGK Q&A Podcast for season ticket holders

Vegas is one of five teams in the NHL currently without a captain. They are also the only team that has not had a captain in any of the previous three years. No captainless team has won the Stanley Cup since 1972.

I think the reason we didn’t have a captain in Vegas, to begin with, was the identity of this team, basically coming out of expansion you were getting all these guys that were left unprotected or traded for, was the strength of the team was going to be in the group. -DeBoer

That reason was repeated time and time again by management, coaches, and the players during the Gallant era. DeBoer thinks the time is near that the first “C” is stitched into a Golden Knights jersey.

I think four years into that now, maybe going into five next year, the question is has someone stepped forward where you can change that philosophy. We’ve established our identity as a team and how we want to play. -DeBoer

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, Paul Stastny, Nate Schmidt, Jonathan Marchessault, and Reilly Smith are a few of the likely candidates to “step forward.”

DeBoer says the process for selecting a captain varies from team to team but his method has always been to consult with his coaching staff and the team’s leadership group and then ultimately make the decision himself.

They are never easy (decisions) and you always have a group of guys that could take that role, but for me, there’s always someone that steps forward a little bit and it’s just getting to know the group long enough to figure out who that is. -DeBoer

He probably won’t make that decision directly out of the pause when the 2019-20 season resumes, but you better believe there will be a captain in Las Vegas soon.

I expect the captain to be Mark Stone.

A case can be made for everyone else mentioned in this article, but reading between the lines since DeBoer has been behind the Golden Knights’ bench, Stone appears to be the guy he’s leaning towards.

This comment in particular sticks out in my mind.

That was following DeBoer’s first game with the Golden Knights. He’s referenced Stone as a leader on multiple occasions since as well.

While it would seem to make sense that a player like Smith, Marchessault, or Schmidt would make the most sense having been here since the beginning, the guy making the decision hasn’t been here since the beginning.

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  1. Tim

    Why not Karlsson?

    • He’s not very vocal or assertive. He leads by example with his play, which is while he’ll always be part of the “leadership group” but he doesn’t really fit the bill (pun intended) to be the captain.

      Plus, he’d HATE the media obligations that go along with it.

      • Agree, Karlsson is a quiet guy, unassuming. He plays hard too. It’s just a personality trait, nothing more. Plus, he’s not a Canadian, which is a little cultural problem. No, Karlsson’s job is to score goals, be a terror on the ice. Agree with you Ken.

  2. I agree about Stone. Nobody tries harder than Stone and he does it all. Smith is a little too quiet, Marchy is a little too cocky, Schmidt is a little too fun loving. Don’t get me wrong, I love those guys, but Stone is a commanding presence on the ice. Everyone looks up to Stone, he’s leads by example, he’s got all the intangibles to be Captain. He’s got a long term deal, so he’s going nowhere.

    • Matz

      Not a knock on Stone at all. Great player. Our best all around player for sure. Captain. No. That’s MarChessault.

      Being a Captain is more than just talent. They represent the team on the ice, in the locker room, the community & interaction with press W/L.

      MarChessault does all this. Compare the two of them in interviews & it’s not even close. MarChessault sounds like a Captain. Stone, love him but, lil painful.

      • Mark

        Marchy would be a second option. He’s got too much of an edge to him, a self admitted cocky guy, he’s not the State Department type, a little too much of a hot head, IMOP. But, he’s good at interviews, the San Jose collapse last year comes to mind and his post game interview was really a class interview. It’s close, honestly, but Stone is an imposing physical presence where Marchy is more limited physically, size wise. I can see a player not listening to Marchy where the same player would listen to Stone. Just my thoughts !! Love both, met Marchy once, said hello, said how much we loved the team and he was appreciative and thanked me. Great guys !!

  3. Pasta

    Mark Stone

  4. Al Powers

    It’ll be Stone or Schmidt. If patches were younger and had longer on his contract, I’d say him. But Stone or Schmidt is my guess.

  5. Herby

    VGK does not need a captain. It is as simple as that.

  6. Sunshine

    I agree with the Stone assessment but when it comes to the media I think Pacioretty is as captain like if there ever was one. He never shies away from the difficult questions and always comes off as poised and confident. Not hard to see how he was a captain in Montreal.

  7. Walt T

    Stone is the perfect choice. Git er done.

  8. "DOC"

    Of course, once again, I have been calling for STONE to be the Captain for a few months now. Finally ya’ll are finally catching up with me! 🙂 The rest of the guys are good “honorable mentions”, but Stoney just checks all the boxes required as a captain. This is absolutely no negativity on any other player on the roster. To me it’s just too obvious that #61 would be a VGK captain we all could be proud of!

  9. Tim

    Who cares look at me I’m the captain give me a big pat on the back. Just because the NHL says it’s cool I think 23 captains works better for us. More importantly it looks like they might extend the roaster to 30 players now we’ll have 30 captains. I think with 7 extra players practicing for a month and on the bench for the playoffs is awesome. We can bring Nick H, Dylan C, Jack D, Lucas E, Cody G, Payton K, plus one more to show DeBoer what they can do. It will pump the kids up and it will pump me up.

  10. Colin McGill

    Put a C on Fleury’s mask like Vancouver did with Luongo. He has the been there since day 1 has the experience and everyone loves him and speaks so highly of him as a leader !! I’m a believer he is the true leader of the team. i know I’m not in the room but from what i hear in interviews he has that respect.

    • Mark

      Love Fluery, but not as Captain, he has enough to do. It’s basically a miscast option. It would be similar to casting Paul Giamatti as a romantic leading man, bedding all the hot chicks then hiring a young Tom Cruise as the annoying neighbor, never gets the girls and chronically unemployed. It’s just a misfire IMOP !!

    • I agree! It should be Fleury, or forget it, we’ll have Alternates!

  11. Mark Stone

    I am the captain now.

  12. Dennis

    The first C should be put on Derek England’s jersey on the day he plays his last game. Hopefully game 7 of this years Stanley Cup Final.

    • Pat

      I completely agree. Even if it is only symbolic. Deryk Engelland has earned the teams first “C” more than any player on this team.

    • "DOC"

      I like that idea Dennis … Symbolic, but still a nice tribute to #5.

    • Daryl

      I am 100% behind this

    • Hey Dennis! Not a bad idea. Not sure DeBeur would agree with you. SMH

      • Daryl

        PDB really doesn’t like Engo. I had heard the Engelland was one of the players who spoke out against the coach being hired so maybe PDB is holding a grudge. I don’t know if we will ever see 5 on the ice again

        • Tim

          PDB clearly doesn’t understand what Engelland means to the city then.

          He can be petty all he wants, but Engelland means something to the fans and shitting on him would be a PR disaster, in my humble opinion.

          Obviously Engelland’s playing days are numbered, but his significance isn’t.

          • I really hope they being England up into the Administration. He would really be good in promotions and has a real link with the fans and the community. He could do fund raisers etc.

  13. Something to consider about the captain argument. After the recent interview with Alex Ovechkin and Wayne Gretzky and how Ovi really pressed Gretzky, about what he needs to do as the Captain to get his team over the finish line, really shows the need for that one voice in a talented lockeroom. Ovi absolutely dominated every round of the playoffs that season. His teammates could not help but elevate their game. I knew our Cup run was truly over when Ovi took that puck to the face and didn’t even flinch because of his superior focus at that important time. That is why we need a Captain.

  14. If you watch game 7 off last year’s play off vs San Jose, when Eakin was sent off, Joe Thornton rallied the team and focused them on scoring. The Knight’s were still processing the fact that Eakin shouldn’t have been sent off, instead of focusing on defence. We needed a voice to focus our team, captain or not.

    • Daryl

      But that had nothing to do with the ‘C’. As much as I don’t like him he is a leader and would have done the same thing if he had an ‘A’ or nothing.

    • What we needed most at that time was some to call a time out!!!!! NOBOBODY was smart enough to do that. I BLAME Gallant for that stupid error!!!!!

  15. Brett

    I love all the people on here who aren’t in the locker room or on the ice “weighing in” on who the captain should be. Shut up.

    • Daryl

      There has to be one for every team and you are our one!!!

      We are giving our ideas which we have every right to you. Who the hell do you think you are to even tell us what to do. Love these internet tough guys

  16. Rex

    You guys could have used a captain when you choked away a 3-1 lead to San Jose and gave up four goals on one power play. A little leadership over there certainly couldn’t hurt.

    • Daryl

      That has nothing to do with someone wearing the ‘C’ And after the 2nd goal, the coach should have called a timeout and regrouped. Even if the call was such BS the NHL changed the rules so it wouldn’t happen again

  17. Tom Duffy

    Stone !!! Other than the rich people who got in early, I called the phone line for signing up for season tix before they were taking deposits and somehow got through, the rep asked me how I was able to get through before they were taking deposits. Who knows but I may have been the first “blue section” (Ranger fan for 60 yrs) guy to commit to the Knights. Our family chose their favorite player after the draft and I chose Reilly Smith. The wife chose Karlson. Love both of those guys but the real heart of the Knights is STONE.

  18. I was thinking Stone before I even read the article. I expected that you would say Stone. I think he has a real presence on the Ice and I believe he has respect from everyone on the team. He is the perfect choice.

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