According to exclusive reporting by The Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir, either TJ Oshie or John Carlson, both veterans of over 10 NHL seasons, will replace the retired Brooks Orpik as the second alternate captain this season. Alex Ovechkin will continue to serve as the team’s leader while Nicklas Backstrom will be the first alternate.
But deeper in El-Bashir’s story was some interesting news regarding Tom Wilson.
Wilson, 25, will get an opportunity to be an alternate captain if there are injuries to any of the players above him.
“He’s right there,” Reirden said to The Athletic.
“Todd has been talking to me about it for a long time now,” Wilson said. “I just want to continue to be a leader and continue to take responsibility on and off the ice. It’s something that, over the course of time, it just kinda happens.”
Wilson served as the alternate captain for the first time in his career during the Caps’ first preseason game against the Chicago Blackhawks.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) September 16, 2019
The big rig scored a highlight-reel overtime game-winning goal, but it was his leadership of such a young Capitals team that got just as much attention.
Reirden’s comments begin at the 3:30 mark.
“I just want to talk about him for a second. He does such a great job with the young players,” Reirden said. “It was really important for me to have him in the lineup tonight just with the next phase of his development as a leader. That was great to see what he does behind-the-scenes. We knew we lost some leaders over the summer. That was a challenge for him and I wanted to put him in a situation where he could do that. Obviously, he’s able to score the winner. He deserves it because he puts the work in.”
“I’m still pretty young,” Wilson, who’s entering his seventh season in the NHL, said. “But around here (I have) to keep some guys accountable.”
In the past, former head coach Barry Trotz hinted Wilson could be future captain material someday. “I just see the young man growing as a leader,” Trotz once said. “He’s got leadership skills.”
Now he may get an A for the first time in a regular-season game this year.
Headline photo: @Capitals
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