As far as Andrew Ference knows, he'll be the Edmonton Oilers captain again this season. If he's not, he knows who it should be, but he's not saying.
"It's not like I'm going to give you a list, but I definitely know who I'd pick," Ference told the Edmonton Journal on Monday. "It's not my anointment.
"Some guys are rounding into that. You need multiple guys in a leadership role, though, with or without the letter, to where they can take the reins. You can't just have one guy carrying the flag. You need a mob mentality to be successful."
The defenseman has been the Oilers captain for two seasons, since he signed as a free agent on July 5, 2013 after six-plus seasons with the Boston Bruins.
Ference said he addressed his captaincy with new coach Todd McLellan shortly after he was hired May 19.
"I brought it up ? I like things out in the open," Ference said. "I don't like walking on eggshells or awkward moments, player to coach, player to GM. This isn't a vanity project. We should want everybody pulling on the same rope for the Oilers."
Forwards Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall were the Oilers alternate captains last season. Eberle (25), Hall (23) and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (22) form Edmonton's young core, which likely will add Connor McDavid (18), the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, this season.
"Anybody can be captain ??? the way I look at it is, who would be the same person with or without it?" Ference, 36, said. "It shouldn't change who you are as a person. Some guys who have the captaincy can elevate their role and how they feel, but how they act and who they are? That shouldn't change.
"Doing the day-in, day-out leadership stuff should be the same with or without it. That's the sign somebody's ready for the captaincy."