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Panthers will name captain this weekend: report

Coach Gerard Gallant says 'tough' decision has been made @NHL

The Florida Panthers likely will name a captain this weekend, coach Gerard Gallant told the Miami Herald on Friday.

Gallant said the Panthers have already decided who will replace Willie Mitchell, who was captain the past two seasons.

"I made it long ago,'' Gallant said, "but it was a tough decision for sure. ... It wasn't just mine; it was management, mine, assistant coaches."

Florida, which is visiting West Point, New York, this weekend, will host the New Jersey Devils in a preseason game at the U.S. Military Academy on Saturday.

"We'll probably do something at West Point, there's a good chance of it,'' Gallant said. "I'm not 100 percent, but I'm pretty sure."

Defenseman Aaron Ekblad and forward Derek MacKenzie are the leading candidates, according to the newspaper.

The Panthers are one of three teams without a captain (Toronto Maple Leafs, Carolina Hurricanes). The Edmonton Oilers named Connor McDavid the youngest captain in NHL history Wednesday.

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