New Jersey Devils Roster: Naming a Captain


Hockey is one of the few sports where team captain is an important position. He is expected to be the team leader, the team’s voice to the media, and the person that communicates with the officials during the game regarding rules and penalties. He is also the person that will accept and raise Lord Stanley’s Cup should his team win it.

Though he has had discussions with Ray Shero and continues to mull his future as a hockey playerBryce Salvador is unlikely to return to the Devils this year. Even if he does, he will more than likely be stripped of his captaincy and has even offered to give up his “C” to stay with the team.

Salvador’s captaincy in New Jersey is one that many Devil fans would like to forget. While he was great at handling the media and being a positive presence in the locker room, his underwhelming play on the ice and the number of injuries he suffered is ultimately what will be most remembered.

With that being said, Shero and John Hynes will likely work together in naming the Devils’ next captain. Bryce Salvador showed everyone that the captain does not necessarily have to be the best player on the team. Shero and Hynes will likely choose the player that best exemplifies leadership both on and off the ice.

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Devil fans need to keep in mind that the next captain will not be Patrik Elias, even though some of us want him to wear ‘C’ one last time before he retires. Elias has no interest in the captaincy and will continue to serve as an alternate. Cory Schneider also cannot be named captain. However, here are some likely candidates to become the eleventh captain in New Jersey Devils history:

Andy Greene 

Greene has been one of the Devils best and most underrated defensemen in recent years. He is a great leader on the ice and in the locker room, and was one of the regulars in speaking to the media when Bryce Salvador was injured. This leads everyone, fans and experts alike, to believe that he is the favorite to earn the captaincy.

Mike Cammalleri

Cammalleri has only been on the Devils for a year. That is a fact. Another fact is that he has often been regarded as a great leader and role model on every team he has played for in his career. Throw in a third fact that he is still signed for four more years and you have a fact sandwich and a candidate to wear the ‘C’.

Adam Henrique

The fan favorite and playoff hero from the team’s cup run in 2012 figures to be a core member of Ray Shero’s rebuild. He plays all aspects of the game very well and learned much of what he knows now from former Devils’ captain Zach Parise. Is he finally ready to earn his first letter ever as captain?

Travis Zajac

Though he is more soft spoken than the other three, Zajac shows his leadership on the ice as he plays to win every night, giving his all every second he is on the ice. Though he has not translated that play to high point numbers, Zajac is a seasoned veteran in New Jersey and will at least get some consideration for the captaincy.


Though unlikely, the next captain could be someone other than the four players listed. Remember, a new regime means a clean slate for every player so Ray Shero and John Hynes could pick a different player to be the Devils’ captain. It is not impossible that a player like Adam Larsson could be wearing the ‘C’ next season, but it is unlikely.

The Devils may not even name a new captain at all. The new front office and coach in New Jersey may want to wait a season before they choose the next captain. Sometimes, a team wants to see who deserves the captaincy the most. Having the captaincy in the NHL is a tremendous honor and privilege, and an enormous responsibility.

The Columbus Blue Jackets chose this method to name their next captain after Rick Nash left. They waited a couple of seasons to see who was worthy of the ‘C’, and it ultimately went to Nick Foligno. The Montreal Canadiens and San Jose Sharks are also in the process of doing this, with four of their players sharing the responsibility as alternates.

Ultimately, while having a captain is important, the Devils have multiple capable leaders on the team who can all share the responsibility and do not necessarily need someone wearing the ‘C’. Choosing the next captain might be better if they waited until the rebuild is over and they are ready to contend as a playoff team again.

Next: The New Culture of the New Jersey Devils: Just Another Team

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