The Tale of Four Alternates: Or why the Habs decision makes sense


Since July 1st saw the departure of Brian Gionta and his heir apparent Josh Gorges, everyone has been debating who would fill their shoes. Would it be Markov with his new contract, his veteran status, his already existing position as an alternate, and the respect he commands throughout the organisation? Would it be Plekanec, the other veteran, player of the toughest minutes year in and year out? Would it be Pacioretty, coming off of a 39 goal season on the best contract in the league, who got the A when Gorges went down? Would it be Gallagher whose only knock is that he’s only 22? Or would it be Subban, the face of the franchise with his charisma and undeniable leadership - showcased to the world in the Bruins series (and finally with that 8 year contract)? Or would it be someone else? 

Every player had strikes against him, it seemed. Would Markov and Plekanec even accept the role if it was offered to them? And then they talk to the media so seldom. Pacioretty and Subban (and Gallagher) are too young. Pacioretty has issues with the media and the world has issues with Subban. Sure, give it to the young guys in a few years but not now, or give it to a young guy now and set him up with older, more experienced alternates. Some people suggested rotating a C or multiple alternates (kudos to you later people who got it right). 

A few weeks ago between waffling between Subban, Pacioretty and various others, I said that I felt like the Habs captain and assistants are either going to be 100% predictable, or seemingly from left field, but making total sense anyway. I wasn’t really right, but I wasn’t really wrong either. The players who got letters were more or less who you’d expect. the decision to make them all alternates might be considered a little from left field. Regardless, it does make total sense.

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