It’s pretty clear Erik Karlsson is the best player the Ottawa Senators currently have.
He led the team in points last season and he won the Norris Trophy in 2012 as the league’s best defenseman at the age of 21.
Now that he’s a regular veteran at 24 years old and the Senators are in need of a new captain with Jason Spezza now in Dallas, many think it’s time for Karlsson to assume that role. As NHL.com shared, he said take the “C” if he’s offered it, but he won’t go out of his way to campaign to get it.
“Obviously it’s something I wouldn’t say no to [but] it’s not something I’m going to ask for,” Karlsson said Monday. “I think whoever takes that decision is going to make the right one and whether it’s me or someone else I think it’s going to be good for the team and good for the organization.”
In translation: “Don’t pick me… Yet.”
Truth is, there aren’t too many other logical candidates if it’s not Karlsson.
Fellow blue liner Chris Phillips is 35 and has been with the team since they took him first overall in 1996. He’s also worn an “A” as the alternate captain for some time now. Of course, so has antagonist forward Chris Neil and that doesn’t seem like he’d win too many other teams over if he was picked.
Defenseman Marc Methot could be a candidate except he’s working on getting an extension done with the team and the Sens have already seen two captains leave town in consecutive years. Add to it that Methot is relatively new to Ottawa (he’s played two seasons there) and we’re back to square one.
It’s either going to be the young guy in Karlsson or the older guy in Phillips.
Dion Phaneuf‘s first home game as a member of the Ottawa Senators is going more smoothly than his debut did on Wednesday.
Ottawa fell 3-1 to the Detroit Red Wings last night, and they need another goal to tie up the Colorado Avalanche. Still, Phaneuf’s making a bigger impact on Thursday, collecting two assists … his first two points in a Sens’ sweater.
You can see his crowd-pleasing first helper above.
Here’s his second assist for good measure:
Update: The Avalanche held on, taking a 4-3 edge. Even so, Phaneuf’s getting a warm welcome in his new hockey city.
Phaneuf on the Ottawa crowd reaction: "It gave me chills."