A team can’t have too many leaders, say the Nanaimo Clippers.
At some point they’ll name a team captain. For now they’ll go with four alternates. And other guys, whether they have a letter or not, whether they’re a skater or a goalie, they need to show leadership, too.
The city’s B.C. Hockey League club announced Thursday that Colton Cyr, Kyle Kramer, Andrew Gladiuk and Graeme McCormack will begin 2011-12 with an ‘A’ on their sweater.
“As important as the decision is as to naming a captain, I think it’s important to allow the right amount of time…” said Mike Vandekamp, Clippers coach. “When a captain arrives on the scene, we’ll name one. It could be somebody that has one of these letters on now, it could be somebody else, it could be somebody that’s not even on our team yet.”
Fans might be surprised to see that Cyr, last year’s captain, isn’t reprising that role immediately. But Vandekamp said he sat down with the vet well before training camp and said the new season would be a brand-new start.
Still, said Cyr, it’s a bit of a change after wearing the ‘C’ for an entire season.
“I saw my jersey today without it on and it was different. Hopefully I can earn that in the coming weeks…” he said. “It’s up to us to figure it out ourselves. All four of us are excited to start trying to get this team on the right track and keep it there.”
Vandekamp said he’s not trying to send any message to Cyr by not handing him back the ‘C’ right away.
“Colton’s happy to do whatever he can to help our team. He’s worked very hard, he’s had a great attitude off the ice and he’s been tremendous,” said the coach. “So it’s certainly not a demotion in any way. We relly believe in him and have been impressed by his leadership so far.”
Gladiuk, the team’s leading scorer and MVP last season, was an alternate captain all of last season and Kramer was given an ‘A’ partway through the year. McCormack will be wearing a letter for the first time with the Clips.
GAME ON … The Nanaimo Clippers open the B.C. Hockey League season tonight (Sept. 23) with a road game against the Powell River Kings at 7:30 p.m. at Hap Parker Arena. The teams play a rematch tomorrow night, also a 7:30 p.m. start at Powell River. For a preview of the games, please click here.