directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: So who does get the C?

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

So who does get the C?

I'm not sure about the rest of your but I absolutely LOVED Rich Nash's comments in this morning's Dispatch regarding the captaincy vacancy -- in case you missed it here are some of the juicy quotes:

"Obviously, I want it," Nash said Sunday. "I believe I am a leader on this team and it would be a huge step in my career.

"The biggest thing for me is I would have to change myself off the ice. I would have to be a bit more vocal and hold guys more accountable, just the things that captains do."

About being around other captains:

"I have been lucky, I've been around some good leaders and I've definitely been taking notes," Nash said.

Not everyone can interject their voice as emphatically as Foote, or freeze lava with a single stare like Mark Messier. Nash prefers the understated approach of Colorado's Joe Sakic.

"He didn't talk a lot but he could say the things that needed to be said," Nash recalled from the Olympics.

I love this one too and this is something I don't think Adam Foote would have ever fully embodied as a Jacket as he already went through the blood/sweat/tears of building with Quebec and then Colorado reaped the rewards:

"There were some dark days when we were just standing still, but it feels good to know we are building," Nash said. "It's important for the fans, too. They almost have been over-patient with the franchise."

I love to read that Nash wants it. That he wants to lead this team to the next level and beyond. This a step just about every franchise player has taken -- Yzerman, Modano, Sundin, Bourque, Lemiuex, Thornton in guys younger like Crosby & Lecavalier are leading their respective teams.

The time is now for Rick Nash to take the reigns. He's been with the team now over 6 years (played 5 seasons + the lockout year). He watched and learned from some of the game's best. He's rounded out his game. He now leads by example on the ice. More importantly he believes in Columbus and what this franchise can be. He believes in its fans. He represents this city honestly and modestly. He is the kind of sports professional you can honestly look your kid straight in the eyes and be happy that their hero is Rick Nash.

Hitch has said no captain would be named this season. That I can understand. However this is classic Hitchcock. He is testing 61 a bit. Seeing how he reacts to the void in the room. Seeing who else may step up and become part of that leadership group - Klesla, Leclaire, Chimera? Being a captain isn't about who yells the loudest or who gets up in players faces. Sure some operate that way but that doesn't mean that's the only effective way to lead.

Judging by his comments I think Nash knows exactly what kind of leader he wants to be. He's certainly stepped up his game on the ice and now I think Hitch is giving Nash a few months to figure how to elevate it off it. If he likes what he sees, which I think he will, that 'C' will be sewn on the first day of camp.

We have seen Nash progress from an 18 year old bright eyed one dimensional kid to a 23 year old young man who has become a two way force. The next step is for 61 to become its captain.


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