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Captaincy not a pressing issue, Johnson says

by Rob Mixer / Columbus Blue Jackets

The Blue Jackets' captaincy has been a popular topic since Rick Nash was traded last summer, but it doesn't appear headed for a solution anytime soon. 

On the eve of Training Camp presented by OhioHealth, the players reported for medicals and fitness testing before beginning the on-ice sessions Thursday morning. And outside Columbus, speculation has been constant regarding not just the next Blue Jackets' captain, but other teams around the NHL seeking captains of their own. 

John Tavares was named the 14th captain in New York Islanders history on Monday, succeeding Mark Streit who signed with the Philadelphia Flyers. Also in search of a captain: the Ottawa Senators, Florida Panthers, Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Dallas Stars and Tampa Bay Lightning.

Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said at media day that the captaincy is something the organization holds in high regard, and that "it's more than just a 'C' on someone's sweater." Management and the coaching staff are hopeful that the right candidate will step forward and make it an easy decision, but they aren't to rush into a decision just to have a captain.

One of the players considered to be a candidate for captain, Jack Johnson, has served as captain for the United States in international competition, most recently at the 2012 IIHF World Championships.

He admitted it's something he hopes is resolved soon, but agreed with Richards in saying it's best to take the time to make the best choice.

"Obviously, we functioned as a group just fine (last year)," Johnson said. "I think at some point, something needs to be done and it will be, but that's a question that's entirely up to (management). The biggest thing I've learned is that you don't change who you are.

"Whoever is named captain will be named captain not for who they hope they are, but for who they are."

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