Gretzky believes McDavid could handle being captain of the Oilers

Associated Press

Interesting take from Wayne Gretzky regarding Connor McDavid.

The Great One believes McDavid could handle being the next captain of the Edmonton Oilers.

Gretzky knows a thing or two about being a young captain. He wore the “C” in Edmonton from 1983-84 to 1987-88.

“I have a great deal of respect for him. In my point of view, I think he’s mature enough that he can handle it at any age,” Gretzky said of McDavid, per the National Post.

“I think that the best players in the game, the best athletes in their particular sport, are guys that want that pressure. They want that demand put on them. No question, he understands who he is and the focus and everything that is bestowed upon him.”

If McDavid is selected as the next captain of the Oilers, he’d be one of the youngest in league history.

Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog is the youngest player in NHL history to wear the “C” on a full-time basis.

  1. Gabriel Landeskog-Colorado-19 years, 286 days old
  2. Sidney Crosby-Pittsburgh-19 years, 297 days old
  3. Vincent Lecavalier-Tampa Bay-19 years, 315 days old
  4. Jonathan Toews-Chicago-20 years, 80 days
  5. Steve Yzerman-Detroit-21 years, 151 days

Should McDavid be named captain on Oct. 1, 2016 for example, he’d be 19-years-old, 262 days.

Gretzky was 22-years-old when he was first named captain.

“I remember when I took the ‘C’ I felt very comfortable at that point in my career and my life,” added Gretzky. “But I also knew that in the locker room I had a tremendous amount of guidance with people like Lee Fogolin and of course Mark Messier and Kevin Lowe and Paul Coffey. So it wasn’t so much on me to stand up and take charge of the room. That didn’t have to happen.”

Time will tell if the Oilers are willing to go down that road.