Thursday, October 06, 2016
Oilers turn to McDavid to wear the C, making him youngest ever to claim that letter
The Edmonton Oilers are Connor McDavid's team now, though in reality they've been his team since the day the Oilers announced his name at the draft table. Yesterday's announcement awarding McDavid the Oilers C, just reinforced the new foundation for Oiler hockey that will build on the enthusiasm and pure skill that the young player brings to the game.
The Oiler's Centre joins some legendary names that have been selected to lead from the very first Oiler in Al Hamilton, through the Stanley Cup winning ones of Gretzky and Messier and through some names that roll through the Oiler's hockey history books.
The new face of the franchise joins a list of players who bled Orange and Blue through the good years and the not so successful ones, forces that willed remarkable victories at times and suffered the hardest of losses at others.
Beyond Northern Alberta, McDavid can review some recent hockey history for role models for his journey into leadership, Sidney Crosby and Jonathon Toews from the new generation, Steve Yzerman from Stanley Cup champs of the past all were handed the title and rewarded that confidence impressively.
Others that also were tapped early in their careers include Brian Bellows, Gabriel Landeskog, Vincent Lecavalier and Jim Schoenfeld.
As we discovered from the recent World Cup of Hockey, McDavid even at 19, has a presence on the ice that speaks volumes. Team mates gravitate to him and feed off of his passion, while line mates of course benefit from his skills on the ice.
But as the decision making process was outlined on Wednesday it's what we don't see off the ice that made the Oilers realize that the future would be secure in the hands of the young talent out of Richmond Hill, Ontario.
Here's what the Oilers think of the new holder of the Burn't Orange C ...
The 2016-17 season is one which is highly anticipated by Oiler fans and one that fans in other cities will be watching with quite a bit of interest.
From the celebrations that will come with a new rink and an expectation that the learning curve is over for young but enthusiastic squad, there is very much a feeling that it's time for results now and that this season will be the year where the challenges of the last few years will finally be forgotten.
That may be a pressure situation for some, but having watched Connor McDavid tackle high pressure situations over the last couple of years, one suspects that he's up to the challenge and that its just one more step on the return of the Oilers to levels once thought far away.
Edmonton Oilers website notes:
McDavid's Dedication to Craft Leads to Captaincy
Some of the notes out of Edmonton on Wednesday's announcement can be found below:
Captaincy a confirmation of Connor McDavid's early ascendancy
Connor McDavid named youngest captain in NHK history
Captain McDavid will need some fierce henchmen to succeed - but he's got them
Oilers name Connor McDavid captain
The question wasn't if the Edmonton Oilers would name Connor McDavid captain, it was when
Edmonton Oilers name Connor McDavid as captain
Oilers' McDavid can look to Crosby, Toews, Yzerman for leadership examples
Edmonton Oilers tab Connor McDavid as captain - youngest in NHL history: 'He's mature beyond his years'
McDavid becomes youngest captain in NHL history as Oilers give him the C
Connor McDavid's challenge to Crosby as best player has only just begun
Inside the decision to make McDavid captain
Oilers make Connor McDavid youngest captain in NHL history
Connor McDavid has hard acts to follow as youngest NHL captain
Connor McDavid 'right guy' to be Oiler's captain, says Hall of Famer Darryl Sittler