Finally the Panthers organization has done something that makes me happy! Veteran defenseman Bryan McCabe was named the teams captain today prior to their only home exhibition game against the Dallas Stars tonight. McCabe who actually is born on the same day as my daughter (not same year of course, she’s alot younger) will become the first captain of the Panthers since Olli Jokinen was traded to Phoenix last year.
McCabe who escaped the wrath of the Toronto Maple Leaf fans and media quickly became a fan favorite here in
South Florida. He played some solid defense and was able to account for 15 goals and 24 assists last season, and I believe with the trading away of Jay Bouwmeester that those totals will increase.
There was enourmous speculation as to who was going to be named captain, if anyone, this year with players like Keith Ballard, Cory Stillman, and little Stevie (Weiss for those of you who haven’t learned of my non-affection for him) being the other candidates.
Solid choice by head coach Peter DeBoer. McCabe is a veteran who has been around, starting his career on the Island with New York in 1995, then going to Vancouver, Chicago and Toronto before coming to Florida. His best seasons prior to arriving in Florida were in Toronto where he was paired with Tomas Kaberle for the most part and together they formed a pretty dangerous pair of defensemen on the power play. McCabe however had his detractors in the North and many were glad that he was ultimately dealt (Mike Van Ryn was the return). Mistakes made in that market are maginfied and right or wrong, I think he just need a change of scenery.
Other than Jacques Martin leaving to coach the Montreal Canadiens, I think one of his best moves was acquiring McCabe last year. Now that he’s captain I think it solidifies his spot here and shows the trust that Coach DeBoer has in him.
Thanks for reading.