The Vancouver Canucks have announced their leadership group for the 2018-19 season, and it does not include the next captain in franchise history. Bo Horvat, Alexander Edler, Brandon Sutter and Chris Tanev will all wear an “A” as alternate captains this season, making up for the loss of Henrik and Daniel Sedin as the unquestioned leaders of the group. Head coach Travis Green released a statement about the decision:
Alex Edler, Bo Horvat, Brandon Sutter and Chris Tanev form our leadership group as alternate captains, supported by a wider group of veteran players. Our team culture will be built from leadership by committee. It will be a big part of our process and our identity each and every game.
There are several teams around the league that will operate this season without a captain, and the Canucks faced no rush to name one for this upcoming season. Though many believe that Horvat will eventually take on the role given his natural leadership abilities, heaping that responsibility onto his shoulders before a season where he will be asked to bear a huge load might have been too much to ask. Without Sedin in the mix, Horvat will be the unquestioned number one center on the Canucks and is a key part of an evolving offense that has both extremely talented young players and a lot of question marks in their top group.
Edler’s name is interestingly listed first in the release, despite him only being under contract for the upcoming season. Scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2019, there hasn’t been much reporting over whether he’ll sign an extension with the team or be used as trade bait later on during the year. He and Tanev both are potential trade chips that the team could flip to add more assets in the age range of the core of the roster, but will serve as the experienced voices in the room for the time being.