Alex Pietrangelo‘s departure from the St. Louis Blues this offseason left a hole on the ice and created a vacancy with the team’s captaincy.
On Wednesday, the team officially announced that vacancy will be filled by forward Ryan O'Reilly when he was named the 23rd captain in franchise history. Pietrangelo had held that title for the past four seasons.
“We are pleased to announce Ryan as the Captain of the St. Louis Blues,” Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said in a team statement. “Ryan, along with Vladimir, Brayden and Colton, will have our full support as we move forward.”
“Ryan’s work ethic on and off the ice and his commitment day in and day out is second to none,” said head coach Craig Berube. “He leads by example with how hard he works during practices and our games and he relays the right message from our coaching staff to our entire team.”
[Related: ProHockeyTalk’s 2020 NHL Free Agency Tracker]
O’Reilly will be starting his third season with the Blues and has already proven to be one of the most significant acquisitions in franchise history. The Blues acquired him before the 2018-19 season in a trade with the Buffalo Sabres that looked like a steal at the time and has only become more lopsided in the years that followed. In his first year with the team he helped lead the Blues to their first Stanley Cup championship and took home the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. He also won the Selke Trophy that season as the league’s best defensive forward.
He is one of the league’s best two-way players, scoring at a 70-point pace the past two years and finishing in the top-three of the Selke voting in each season.
The Detroit Red Wings, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, and Vegas Golden Knights are now the only teams that have yet to name a captain for this season.