After the season, it was stated that there would be a captain in place for the 2022-23 campaign to replace Shea Weber. At their annual charity golf tournament on Monday, the Habs announced that Nick Suzuki is their new team captain, the 31st in franchise history.
As for the alternate captains, those were also revealed. This time, there won’t be alternating road/home options; instead, Brendan Gallagher and Joel Edmundson were appointed as the full-time alternates.
None of these decisions should come as much surprise. Suzuki had been the speculative favourite to become the captain with Edmundson and Gallagher being suggested as short-term stopgaps if management felt that Suzuki, who just turned 23 last month, wasn’t ready for the role. As it is, he is the youngest captain in Canadiens history.
However, head coach Martin St. Louis indicated that they approached Suzuki about taking on the role just before the draft. He took a couple of months to reflect on it before recently agreeing to the offer.
In the past, there has been a mixture of player-named and management-appointed captains. In this case, the team revealed that it was the latter in Suzuki’s situation.
While there is definitely some risk with naming a young player as captain, it’s a practice teams have done much more frequently in recent years. Suzuki is beginning an eight-year contract this season so he’s likely to be around for a while and with expectations about winning in 2022-23 being pretty low, he shouldn’t necessarily feel the pressure that typically falls on captains right away.