And there we have it. The New Jersey Devils have named their 11th captain in franchise history and the choice is no surprise. It's hard to find someone more deserving than Andy Greene to be the next captain of the New Jersey Devils. Greene, while a college player at Miami University, went undrafted and signed with the Devils out of college. Making the All-CCHA(Central Collegiate Hockey Association) 1st team three times, Greene was signed as a free agent April 4th, 2006.
In addition to captaincy, the Devils set up a system of rotating alternative captains. The exact rotation of players with the 'A' has yet to be announced but those who will rotate include long-time Devil Patrik Elias, Travis Zajac, Mike Cammalleri and Adam Henrique. All these players have received some form of recognition for their leadership or have previously held an alternate captain position.
How Did We Get Here?
Greene started his professional career with the Lowell Devils, now the Albany Devils. He was called up in his first season to play with New Jersey following the injury of defenseman Johnny Oduya and following his outstanding play with the Devils, he stuck and has been with the team since.
Greene, who signed a 5-year, $25 million deal with the team, is one of the longest tenured Devils on a team that has brought in new talent and has seen the old guard move on. While not the oldest player on the team, Greene is easily the oldest defenseman. At 32, Greene leads a defense who not including himself, has an average age of 23.7. Partnered with Adam Larsson for the beginning of the season, Greene has mentored and served as an example for the young defense as they've become NHL regulars. It's not a coincidence every defenseman seems to improve their play alongside Greene.
What This Means for the Devils
According to Tom Gulitti of the Fire and Ice blog, Greene was a unanimous choice. Hynes, who allowed the players to vote, noted that it was a clear cut decision to name Greene as the captain. While all players claim captaincy doesn't change the way they play, I think we'll see a more confident Greene, if that's possible. With the captaincy, Greene knows he'll be looked upon to lead the young defense and now the whole team into the new era that is Devils hockey. I can't imagine a better representative of the Devils. Someone who has remained loyal, had to work hard to get to where he's at and encompasses everything we look for in a player.
How do you feel about Andy Greene being named the next captain? Is there anyone you would have liked to see instead? How do you think he'll handle being the team's new representative and leader? Let us know your thoughts and thanks for reading!