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Canucks to name captain at home opener next week

Horvat leading contender to be first in role since Henrik Sedin

by Kevin Woodley / Independent Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- The Vancouver Canucks plan to name a new captain but not until their home opener against the Los Angeles Kings on Oct. 9.

"We've put a lot of thought into it. We don't take it lightly," coach Travis Green said Tuesday. "We think it's the right time for our organization and the right time for the person we are going to name, but we think it's a special moment and something that our fans should be able to witness firsthand." 

The Canucks, who will be celebrating their 50th anniversary of joining the NHL, will have three alternate captains when they open the season at the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET, SN, SN360, NHL.TV) and the Calgary Flames on Saturday. They will use a rotation of Alexander Edler, Bo Horvat, Brandon Sutter and Christopher Tanev.

Horvat appears to be the leading contender to become the first Canucks captain since Henrik Sedin retired after the 2017-18 season.  

"Even to be in consideration is humbling," Horvat said Monday. "At the same time, no matter if I'm wearing a 'C' or an 'A' or no letter at all, I'm just going to be the same player, the same person, and just try to help my team win every single night."

Video: VAN@EDM: Horvat pads lead to four off turnover

Horvat, who along with Edler, Sutter and Tanev, were alternate captains last season. The 24-year-old center is entering his sixth season with the Canucks. He was selected by Vancouver with the No. 9 pick in the 2013 NHL Draft on June 30, 2013, a pick acquired by Vancouver when it traded goalie Cory Schneider to the New Jersey Devils earlier that day. 

Horvat has 222 points (98 goals, 124 assists) in 377 NHL games, and is coming off NHL career highs in goals (27), assists (34) and points (61) in 82 games last season.

The Canucks, Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Detroit Red Wings and Vegas Golden Knights are the six NHL teams currently without a captain. The Maple Leafs could name a captain as early as Wednesday.  

"It's not a necessity, but I think when it's obvious, that's when you do it," Green said. "It's a huge honor to be named a captain or an assistant captain, but I also think there's a lot that goes into it behind the scenes with the rest of the team. If you went through a lot of teams in the League, there's probably a few guys on every team that you could put into a hat to be the captain. Some teams it's very obvious, and some teams it's not."

The list of past Canucks captains includes Sedin, goalie Roberto Luongo, Markus Naslund, Mark Messier, Trevor Linden, Stan Smyl and Orland Kurtenbach.

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