Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Guess the Captains

I thought this might be a good topic to blog about since we are getting closer and closer to the start of the 2012-13 USHL season.  A reminder, the Stars will play their first preseason game on Friday, September 14th (10 days away!) against the Tri-City Storm at the "Clyde Iron Cup" tournament which will be held in Duluth, MN.  Click here to read more about that.  The Stars will play two games that weekend.  I'll post a Clyde Iron Cup preview article next week, so keep an eye out for that.

Soon after the Clyde Iron Cup, the Lincoln Stars will participate in the USHL's Fall Classic, held again in Sioux City, Iowa.  In that particular preseason tournament, the Stars will play three opponents in four days.  Click here to read more about that.

So with that said, this blog will start to get a lot more busy in the next month or so.  Sadly, my vacation from the blog is coming to and end but I'm not too bummed because I know that hockey season is just around the corner.  Best time of the year, by far.

Okay, now to the topic at hand.  I thought it might be a good idea to see what the fans think in regards to the captains next season.  Stars head coach Chad Johnson lets the players vote on captains, so the final decision is up to those players.  Last year, the Stars had two captains (Brent Tate, Dax Lauwers) and two alternate captains (Dominik Shine, Teemu Tiitinen).  I assume the Stars will do that same thing this next season, but there's a chance they could go back to the more traditional system of one captain, and two alternate captains.

Returning "vets" from last season are:

D-Paul LaDue
D-Zach Frye
D-Mike McKee
F-Tommy Schutt
F-Vinnie Lettieri
F-Will Suter
F-Zach Aston-Reese
F-Dominik Shine
F-Brad Hawkinson
F-Luke Johnson
F-Eric Scheid (played for Lincoln in 2010-11)

I suppose there's always a chance that a first-year player is given a letter to wear on his jersey, but in my opinion I don't think it will happen this season.

So looking at the returning players from last season, who would you guess is given the captain, and alternate captain titles?  Pick two captains, and two alternate captains.  You can leave your guesses below.  I'd also appreciate if you'd comment as to why you think your guesses are deserving.

Here are my guesses:

Captain:  Dominik Shine
Alternate captain from last season, and will be entering his fourth season with the Stars.  Dom has played nearly 150 games in a Lincoln Stars uniform.  Due to a knee injury suffered early on in the 2011-12 season, Shine missed nearly 30 games yet still scored 32 points (11g, 21a) in 32 games played.  In my opinion, I think Shine is a lock to be a captain.

Captain:  Paul LaDue
Played 64 games (regular season and playoffs) for the Stars last season, scoring 37 points (10g, 27a) and was +38.  Paul will be one of four overagers (players born in 1992) on the roster next season.  If you are to utilize a two captain system, I think it's important to have one captain from the forwards, and one captain from the defensemen.

Alternate Captain:  Mike McKee
"Big" Mike McKee played 67 games last season for the Stars last season, scoring 19 points (2g, 17a) along with 281 total penalty minutes.  More than willing to drop the gloves to protect his teammates.  Drafted by the Detroit Red Wings this past spring during the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.  Definitely a fan favorite, also.

Alternate Captain:  Will Suter
I admit, I'm a big Will Suter fan so this is pretty biased.  Will played a total of 58 games for the Stars last season, scoring 24 points (9g, 15a) along with 29 penalty minutes.  Outstanding work ethic with a non-stop motor.  He may not score a ton of points but his intangibles (especially away from the puck) make him invaluable.  Definitely a guy you want on your penalty-kill unit.  Like LaDue, Suter will be an overager next season.

So those are my predictions.  If the Stars decide to go to a one captain, two alternate captain system, I'd predict Shine as captain, and LaDue/McKee as the alternate captains.

Now I'd like to hear from the readers out there.  Which players are your team captains?  Please leave a comment below.  You do not need to register to leave a comment.  Thanks!


Anonymous said...

I totally agree with all the above. Shine for captain for sure.

Brandon Anderson said...

Exactly the same picks as I was thinking Yeti

Anonymous said...

I think ZAR will wear a letter. Not sure which. I think he needs to.

Zena37 said...

I would also say Shine as Captain for sure. Maybe Luke Johnson and Paul LaDue with the A's.

Yeti said...

Thanks for all the comments thus far! Some really good suggestions. Honestly, I think any of the players returning from last season would be good candidates to wear a letter.

Anonymous said...

Shine will wear a C, Ladue and McKee also good choices. Hawkinson, well liked last season by the guys could wear an A along with linemate Suter.

nutz4puckz said...

Looks like I am on the same page as everyone else. When you tweeted that you were writing the article, here is what first popped in my head:

C- Shine
C - LaDue
A - Suter
A - Johnson

I also agree that any of the guys back from last year could wear a letter.

Anonymous said...

Suter should be a lock. Work ethic and intangibles cannot be measured (on and off the ice). A locker room gem! Isn't that the true gauge of a CAPTAIN!