In rather unsurprising news, Mark Streit was named the 13th captain in New York Islanders history, taking over the title from the recently retired Doug Weight. Streit received this honor following a season where he was not able to play a single game, and will be returning healthy. The full press conference with Charles Wang, Mark Streit, Garth Snow and Jack Capuano is on the Islanders website.
AT: Couldn't have asked for a more perfect choice. Though some had argued - and very legitimately so - that Tavares could have easily gotten it due to his high level of character and loyalty to the team, Streit was chosen due to his experience in the league, vocal leadership both on and off the ice, and ability to truly be seen as the leader of this team. In the 2009-2010 season when Doug Weight was injured, Streit was looked to for his leadership and was very successful in providing them for such a young team. Streit only has two more years left on his deal, but is going to be an integral part of this team for the next two years and hopefully beyond, health pending. I can only hope that Streit remains healthy as he had been prior to the freak injury he sustained in training camp, as we need someone like him to truly lead this team back to the playoffs. Congratulations, Mark!
CH: This was really the only sensible choice, to be honest. I was a big proponent of handing the captaincy over to John Tavares after he signed the extension, but that was all post-contract excitement. The fact is that Tavares is only 21 years old and may not be ready for that responsibility yet, even though his time may come very soon. Streit is a vet that's still in his prime, has the respect of everyone in both the organization and the league - including the refs. Streit also becomes the first Swiss captain in NHL history, which is undoubtedly an extreme honor for the defenseman. The fact is that the Islanders are much better off today with Streit as their captain, especially while they continue to let guys like Kyle Okposo and John Tavares develop into their roles. Well done.