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Photo Credit: Vancouver Canucks / Twitter

Why Bo Horvat Should Be Captain Of The Vancouver Canucks Part 3—And Why It Should Happen In 2019/20

Welcome, one and all, to the final stop on our whirlwind tour of all the many players who might feasibly serve as the captain of the Vancouver Canucks in the 2019/20 season. Thus far, we’ve made inconsistently compelling cases for Alex Edler, Brock Boeser, Elias Pettersson, and Troy Stecher—in addition to a two-part testimonial on why Bo Horvat is actually the right person for the job.

But there’s one option we’ve yet to discuss—and that’s naming Horvat as captain of the Canucks, but doing so at a future date beyond the 2019/20 season. The team went without anyone wearing the “C” in 2018/19, and there’s a chance they choose to do the same this year.

In Part 3 of “Why Bo Horvat Should Be Captain Of The Vancouver Canucks,” however, we’re here to make the case that the time has already come for #53 to don the “C”—and that Jim Benning, Travis Green, and Co. would be foolish to wait any longer.

The Captain-Less Controversy 

In Part 2, we discussed what a problematic statement it would make if the Canucks were to name someone like Alex Edler as a stop-gap captain—and what it would say about the organization’s belief in Bo Horvat.

It goes without saying that not naming a captain at all for 2019/20 would send an even worse message to the team and the fanbase. The media firestorm that would surely follow would be as unpleasant as it was unnecessary.

As soon as the Canucks choose not to name Horvat the captain for the upcoming season, the narrative becomes “Why don’t Jim Benning and Travis Green think Horvat is ready for the captaincy?” The local media will thus spin its wheels trying to come up with reasons why Horvat might not be worthy of the “C”—and the team really doesn’t need that smoke in a season in which they’ll be trying to make the playoffs.

Even if the Canucks didn’t exist in a hockey-mad market with a proven track record of fomenting controversies on the flimsiest of premises, it still makes sense to name Horvat captain of the team sooner rather than later—and the 2019/20 season presents the perfect opportunity.

A Milestone Moment

The 2019/20 season promises to be a special one for the Vancouver Canucks. The franchise will enter its 50th anniversary year when the calendar flips to 2020, and a season full of celebration is already in the works.

With ceremonies abound—including a week-long celebration of the Sedins, who we’ll get to in a moment—there’s every reason to make the occasion even more memorable by naming Bo Horvat as captain of the team. There will be plenty of celebration of the franchise’s past, but that doesn’t mean that equal time shouldn’t be spent on setting up the team for future success.

Of course, the 2019/20 season isn’t just notable because of the milestone it represents—it also marks the dawn of a new era in Canuck uniforms. With a complete new set of four jerseys—including the classic black, red, and yellow skate logo in honour of the 50th anniversary—Vancouver has a fashionable and financial incentive to update Horvat’s own jersey with a captain’s patch.

After all, who wouldn’t want to buy this sweater?

Credit: @S7Dsn

The Daniel And Henrik Connection

With all this talk of captains, it’s time to address the twin elephants in the room—the previous Canucks captain is still around, and he’ll be a major part of the celebrations in the 2019/20 season.

Both Henrik and Daniel Sedin will have their jerseys retired by the Canucks at some point in the year—specifically, sometime in February—making all the more appropriate an occasion to fill the role that Henrik left vacant.

It bears mentioning that Horvat played the first four seasons of his career under the leadership of the Sedins—and one can only imagine that he picked up a litany of lessons that he can now pass on to a new generation of Canucks. The twins did a lot to improve the culture of the organization, and there’s no reason to throw any of that away now. Fortunately, Horvat is an obvious candidate to carry on the Sedins’ leadership legacy. His time learning from Henrik and Daniel is one accolade we’ve yet to mention in making the case for Horvat as captain—but it’s an important one nonetheless.

If the ceremony occurs early enough in the season, the Canucks could pull a classic maneouver in having Henrik quite literally pass the captaincy on to Horvat as a part of their jersey retirement ceremony. There are those who believed that Henrik was set to do this at the Sedins’ last game in Vancouver, though it didn’t come to pass—but now the organization has another opportunity for this unique bit of fan service.

Really, when you think about it, there’s no good reason not to have the Sedins involved in the naming of a new captain in some capacity. Metaphorically speaking, torches work better when they’re passed than when they’re picked up off the ground.

He’s Ready

To discuss the final reason why 2019/20 is the right time to name Bo Horvat as captain of the Vancouver Canucks, we have to go back to the previous campaign. Once again, Horvat proved himself capable of temporarily putting the team on his back when its top offensive producers hit the IR—which goes well with his remarkable ability to maintain his own health.

When Brock Boeser broke his back at the tail-end of his rookie campaign, Horvat stepped up his game. He did the same during Elias Pettersson’s two absences in 2018/19, demonstrating that he’s more than capable of being the Canucks’ main man—even though he’s often asked to take a lesser role.

Bo Horvat has consistently brought stability to the Canucks lineup since joining the team five seasons ago—and that’s saying a lot given what has transpired throughout those five seasons. In many ways, Horvat has been the acting captain of the team since Henrik Sedin announced his retirement—so let’s make it official in 2019/20.

 

  • #29JackMack

    Canucks Army used to do a series on the Canucks top prospects ranked from 20 down to 1. Is there any chance you guys will invest time and effort to resurrect that series? It was well done and very interesting. It seems like the writers are searching for things to write about and many of the articles fairly irrelevant.

    • CanucksRealist

      I won’t – his half-hearted job on here was clearly just a stepping stone and the site has suffered accordingly.

      Bring back JD, sure he’s an idiot, but at least the little buck-toothed dweeb put the whining cheerleaders and apologists in their place at the bottom of the foodchain which was always amusing.

      • Bud Poile

        Biech put out a fair product without snark and gets a paying gig with the NHL Canucks.
        PQW,the self proclaimed ‘Realist’ ,is banned from this site by Biech and yet is still here pumping up his BBF’s.
        No surprises on either but thanks for banning PQW,Ryan, and best of luck in your professional career in the big league.

      • TD

        Of course the almost non-paying job at CA was a stepping stone. I will agree the site didnt thrive under his leadership, but he was also working at several better paying jobs at the same time. His articles were always informative and written from an objective position.

    • Defenceman Factory

      Yes congrats to Ryan. His skills will be a huge benefit to the Canucks.

      Ryan was always one of the most even and honest writers on CanucksArmy. He could actually tell the difference between opinion and fact. The fact the cockroach infestation on this site didn’t like him is just another feather in his cap.

      • Locust

        I hope the Nation Network has some say on his replacement. Like maybe getting somebody that has a spine that will eliminate the state sponsored trolling, getting rid of the one demented tard-troll and bring CA up to the standards of other Nation sites.

        • CanucksRealist

          Can you believe this deluded narcisistic moron guys.

          NEWSFLASH – The first order of business will be getting rid of the no-life whining troll who has been dissing this site and the staff for FIVE YEARS straight, condascending true Canucks fans who don’t bend to ‘its’ incessant whine and trashing the late Jason Botchford without an apology upon his sad passing… and that would be YOU – Locust the cowardly whnging POS. Already being arranged as we speak, you are gone… book it. What will you do then no lifer? WHAT WILL YOU DO??

    • hm

      Without being the world’s leading authority on Ryan’s writing and reporting I know enough to consider this a major step in the right direction, in pulling our management group out of the ice age. Almost as much as a good signing, this hiring is a good step in the right direction, and gives me more hope for the future. Now they need to hire JD and/or Harman Dayal.

      • Defenceman Factory

        Dayal maybe, Burke would sit in the corner squawking corsi for percentage until somebody punched him in the head. In all seriousness though Burke does very little of his own analysis. He carved out a writing niche appealing to the Anti Benning crowd.

        Good little piece on the Beich hiring over on Pass it to Bulis

        • hm

          Thanks for the reference to PITB. To be honest I am not as much of a JD fan, more of a Harman fan. Just glad to see JB taking positive steps, and to finally see a local nerd in our front office, rather than being poached by another organization. They will need all the help they can get over the next 5 years.
          And with all of this, JB is growing on me. Though he has made a bunch of mistakes that weren’t small, the truth is that he got a few right and with the way the salary cap seems to work, it seems like its a bit forgiving. The teams which have played the game really well, (read Winnipeg as the prime example off the top of my head) eventually can’t afford to keep all their great prospects. So its like the cap, creates an automatic leveller dulling the success of the wise, and kind of forgiving the mistakes (eventually) of the flawed.

          • Cageyvet

            I judge JB like prospects, you hired a rookie GM, expect him to learn on the job and make mistakes. This team is his now, and he will be judged on how it performs. I’d like him to have 2 years to move forward but it’s probably all about this year as far as the playoffs are concerned. Fingers crossed.

    • hm

      Thanks for the reference to PITB. To be honest I am not as much of a JD fan, more of a Harman fan. Just glad to see JB taking positive steps, and to finally see a local nerd in our front office, rather than being poached by another organization. They will need all the help they can get over the next 5 years.
      And with all of this, JB is growing on me. Though he has made a bunch of mistakes that weren’t small, the truth is that he got a few right and with the way the salary cap seems to work, it seems like its a bit forgiving. The teams which have played the game really well, (read Winnipeg as the prime example off the top of my head) eventually can’t afford to keep all their great prospects. So its like the cap, creates an automatic leveller dulling the success of the wise, and kind of forgiving the mistakes (eventually) of the flawed.

  • rediiis

    Having just come to this site this year, I really haven’t read enough of his writing. Is he the one that does the mailbag?
    Does any player have a Captain clause in their contract? Give it to him. Mostly it is just doing pressers and listening to the ref berate a player on your team through you. This should be a paying gig. Who can handle it best? I guess that’s why we don’t have one yet.

    • rediiis

      I guess if the Canucks gave Ferland the “C”, it would be worth the price of admission, easily 3 misconducts for berating the puck girls, zamboni, pierre in the middle, refs and anyone that would listen. Go grill something.