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Bleacher Reports Top 5 Captains of All Time


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#21 GMRwings1983

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 09:56 PM

How come no one has mentioned Bourque? He was definitely one of the greatest leaders in the history of a very very storied franchise. Amazing player too I might add.

NOTE: I can't open this website on my computer for whatever reason so not too sure if it is on bleacherreports list. Just haven't seen a single person mention him on here yet.


Bourque was a great captain.

Reason he wasn't mentioned is because the list narrowed it down to 5 players only. At least that's why I didn't mention him. He'd probably be a candidate for top 10 captains if I had to put that together.
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#22 Hiei

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 10:56 PM

If Saku Koivu would've stayed captain longer in Montreal, i'd put him here.

Yzerman without a doubt

Stevens without a doubt (he may not have been a scoring leader, but by god if he couldn't hit somebody)

Messier gets some credit for winning with the oilers post gretz and then ending the Rags 53 year drought.

Beliveau without a doubt.

Always thought Arnott and Langenbrunner were decent, maybe not top 5 but sure up there.

And lest we forget, Brendan Shanahan was the captain for the Hartford Whalers when we picked him up.

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#23 Barrie

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 11:53 PM

No Toews? WTF!

No Crosby either! This is bogus!
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#24 eva unit zero

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 12:32 AM

Some players not mentioned who captained teams during the same era as Gretzky and Messier who were better captains are Ray Bourque, Joe Nieuwendyk, Scott Stevens, Denis Potvin, Doug Gilmour, Trevor Linden, Ron Francis.
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#25 RusDRW

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 06:35 AM

As a 14 year old I played against Clarke in an exhibition game when he was in his prime with the Flyers. I'm surprised he didn't do that to me. He sure as s*** high sticked and speared me. You've got to understand that he just doesn't care. If he was on the ice it was all personal and he had to win no matter who he was playing against. That's part of being a good leader in my opinion.


following your logic Matt Cooke along with Chris Pronger are the best leaders right now.
Sweet. This dude was brought here for one reason, to punch people in the head - every other thing that he can do, other Wings can do better. I like that we have a head-puncher. The league has other, better head-punchers, but this one is ours. Better than nothing. Good work, Kenny!

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#26 Xitium

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 07:27 AM

Messier not deserving?

6 Cups.

Messier's natural hatty leading the come from behind in the guarantee game was monumental.

First and ONLY person to Captain two different teams to Cup wins.

Edited by Xitium, 16 February 2011 - 07:28 AM.


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#27 Chairman Maouth

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 09:27 AM

following your logic Matt Cooke along with Chris Pronger are the best leaders right now.

Then you're not following it well.

Playing against Clarke taught me that there was a compete level and desire to win that went way beyond anything I had ever experienced before. If Clarke's actions on the ice could instill that kind of knowledge in me then it could certainly rub off against players of any level, including his teammates. If they're smart enough to realize it, they have been taught that there is a level of desire to win that goes way beyond what they've probably had within themselves in the past and they have room to up their game to a whole new level. This is about the level of desire to succeed, not about tactics.
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#28 seeinred

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 09:40 AM

Am I the only one bothered by the fact that Bleacher Report is just a giant collection of amateur blogs? Legitimate (if you can still even call them that...) are bad enough, but some of the blogs on that site are just dripping with stupidity; armchair drivel at its best. I'm fine with the idea of people having a blog and a voice, but I think it gets fuzzy when they start trying to pass themselves off as proper journalists when they blatantly are not beholden to the same standards of integrity and accuracy.


That's pretty much exactly what I was gonna say. It's a fun site to read every now and then, but in general there's a ton of idiots there.

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#29 egroen

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 10:17 AM

Messier not deserving?

6 Cups.

Messier's natural hatty leading the come from behind in the guarantee game was monumental.

First and ONLY person to Captain two different teams to Cup wins.

Messier won 2 Cups as a Captain.
The fact it was with 2 different teams is more of a trivia thing than meaningful because most great captains stick to one team for the majority of their careers and are not hired guns.

Besides, Messier's Rangers had 8 players from his Cup year with the Oilers... That's actually more of the same 'team' than Sakic and Stevens had between their first and last Cup wins.

Finally, Vancouver fans absolutely despise Messier, even to this day. How many of the greatest captains ever are hated by a fan base they captained?
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#30 Chairman Maouth

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 11:35 AM

Finally, Vancouver fans absolutely despise Messier, even to this day. How many of the greatest captains ever are hated by a fan base they captained?

:clap:

Messier was a cancer to the Canucks organization and was present through the three darkest years of the Canucks franchise. I swear to God that if I ever see a guy wearing a Canucks Messier jersey I will offer him $1,000 just so I can get it out of circulation. Then I will light it on fire and piss on it. Finally, I will bury it out back in the compost heap for the worms to do the rest.

And I ain't kidding. Messier was all about Messier and getting a fat paycheck when he was here. He didn't care who he hurt or whose toes he stepped on or whose careers he f***ed up. Messier was not about the team. Messier was about Messier. Piss on Mark Messier.

(I just reread those two paragraphs and I'm a little concerned that I didn't get my point across quite strong enough)
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#31 edicius

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 11:39 AM

Messier = greatly overrated as a leader.

That's all I can say, because the rest of you have said it pretty well.

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#32 xtrememachine1

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 12:20 PM

What? No Dale Hunter, Eric Lindros, Chris Pronger, or Dirk Graham? ;)

#33 egroen

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 12:40 PM

Some players not mentioned who captained teams during the same era as Gretzky and Messier who were better captains are Ray Bourque, Joe Nieuwendyk, Scott Stevens, Denis Potvin, Doug Gilmour, Trevor Linden, Ron Francis.

It's tough for me to include the guys that never won a Cup as captain amongst the all-time greats.
Red Kelly #4 and Larry Aurie #6 belong in the rafters!!!

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#34 GMRwings1983

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 01:43 PM

I also think the 94 thing is overrated. Messier was great in those playoffs, but not as great as Leetch and Richter were for them.

Also, as egroen mentioned, half their roster comprised of former Oiler players. They didn't have to rebuild from scratch at any point.

Finally, don't forget that Messier wasn't even the captain for his first 9 or so years in Edmonton. Gretzky was the captain, and Messier basically inherited a very talented team to lead. He never had to lead a team from the dumps into the promise land. Good leader and a top 5 captain, but not the best captain ever.

As for Vancouver, I know that didn't turn out well, but that team was never a Cup contender. They could never challenge Detroit, Dallas, Colorado, Philly or New Jersey. No one should have expected otherwise.

Edited by GMRwings1983, 16 February 2011 - 01:44 PM.

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#35 newfy

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 02:13 PM

Not sure if people were serious when they said Sundin? :blink:

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#36 eva unit zero

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 04:38 PM

I also think the 94 thing is overrated. Messier was great in those playoffs, but not as great as Leetch and Richter were for them.

Also, as egroen mentioned, half their roster comprised of former Oiler players. They didn't have to rebuild from scratch at any point.

Finally, don't forget that Messier wasn't even the captain for his first 9 or so years in Edmonton. Gretzky was the captain, and Messier basically inherited a very talented team to lead. He never had to lead a team from the dumps into the promise land. Good leader and a top 5 captain, but not the best captain ever.

As for Vancouver, I know that didn't turn out well, but that team was never a Cup contender. They could never challenge Detroit, Dallas, Colorado, Philly or New Jersey. No one should have expected otherwise.


There were six regulars on the 1994 Rangers who were regulars on the 1990 Oilers. The 1994 Rangers also had several key players who were Rangers when the Oilers won, such as Conn Smythe winner Brian Leetch and goaltender Mike Richter.

By comparison, the 1988 Oilers had nine players who were also regulars on the 1984 Oilers.

Messier's leadership in 1994 extended no further than saying "Hey guys, we did this before, right?" and then Richter and Leetch led the team with solid performance and one great moment from Messier. His leadership in 1990 is exaggerated because it's "look, wow, the Oilers won the Cup without Gretzky! Messier is TEH LEADER!!" when the Oilers wouldn't have even won their division if Ranford hadn't closed and locked the goal.

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#37 kook_10

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 04:51 PM

Patrick Marleau?

works every time


#38 wingslogo19

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 05:41 PM

It's tough for me to include the guys that never won a Cup as captain amongst the all-time greats.

Scott Stevens did win a cup, 3 of them
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#39 eva unit zero

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 06:27 PM

Scott Stevens did win a cup, 3 of them


I think he was referring to Bourque, Gilmour, and Linden.

None of whom I claimed were among the best ever; just better than Gretzky or Messier.

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#40 Barrie

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 07:49 PM

There were six regulars on the 1994 Rangers who were regulars on the 1990 Oilers. The 1994 Rangers also had several key players who were Rangers when the Oilers won, such as Conn Smythe winner Brian Leetch and goaltender Mike Richter.

By comparison, the 1988 Oilers had nine players who were also regulars on the 1984 Oilers.

Messier's leadership in 1994 extended no further than saying "Hey guys, we did this before, right?" and then Richter and Leetch led the team with solid performance and one great moment from Messier. His leadership in 1990 is exaggerated because it's "look, wow, the Oilers won the Cup without Gretzky! Messier is TEH LEADER!!" when the Oilers wouldn't have even won their division if Ranford hadn't closed and locked the goal.

Great post eva :thumbup:
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