It's not often that the captain of a team gets traded and it immediately leads to a simple question: who's next?
The trade of Bo Horvat to the New York Islanders means the Vancouver Canucks no longer have a captain. The Canucks will likely go the rest of the season without anyone wearing the captain's C but will anyone take over the captaincy for next season?
The Canucks' general manager, Patrik Allvin, suggested that the two most likely candidates are two of their younger players.
"It's hard to move your captain away. It was definitely a hard conversation that I had with Jim [Rutherford] and Rick Tocchet," said Allvin. "There's a lot of younger players, particularly [Elias] Pettersson and Quinn Hughes that have shown they're capable of being leaders of this team. We'll sit down as a staff and talk about it here over the next couple days."
A couple of days suggests a decision will be made quickly, though Allvin was quick to say that there's no rush to naming the next captain. They might even make the decision to not name a captain at this time.
"Not a rush but I do think there will be a decision here either way," said Allvin. "But I do think Pettersson and Quinn Hughes have shown that they're capable of taking over this team."
Neither Pettersson nor Hughes have typically worn an "A" as an alternate captain, though Pettersson filled in as an alternate when Oliver Ekman-Larsson was a healthy scratch in a recent game. If one of the two is to be the team's next captain, it's likely that he'll be given an "A" for the rest of the current season, though Allvin wasn't certain how many As will be on the ice for the Canucks the rest of the way.
"Depends on how Rick Tocchet wants to have it," said Allvin. "I've got to talk to Jim as well."
The Canucks currently have three alternate captains: Ekman-Larsson, J.T. Miller, and Tyler Myers. It seems telling that none of their names were mentioned when Allvin was asked about the captaincy.