When the word “captain” is thrown around in hockey, names of stars are mentioned. Guys like Crosby, Lidstrom, Iginla and Chara are all discussed. Rarely brought up are blue collar guys like the captains in Phoenix and Winnipeg.
Shane Doan has been with the Winnipeg/Phoenix organization since being drafted in 1995 and was named the team’s captain in 2003. He’s seemingly been the face of the franchise since the team moved to the desert in 1996. Doan is in the top three of the franchise’s leaders in goals, assists and points and owns the top spot in all three categories if only Coyotes statistics are counted.
Andrew Ladd is only 25, but already has two Stanley Cup rings, 2006 with Carolina and 2010 with Chicago. He’s also the (new) Winnipeg Jets captain. Ladd’s played in his fourth city (third franchise) in the last five seasons. Jets fans hope that Winnipeg is a long term stop for the left winger.
Both guys are willing to step up for teammates, like a good captain should. Monday night in a win over Florida, Ladd challenged Panthers winger Jack Skille to a fight after Skille had checked Jet defenseman Tobias Enstrom hard earlier in the game. Doan fought Lightning defenseman Pavel Kubina last season after Kubina kneed Coyote Keith Yandle.
However, neither is a huge points threat. Doan has only hit the 30 goal mark twice (’06, ’09) and his career high in points is 78. Ladd is still young and he hit career highs in goals (29) and points (59) last season, and he’ll likely improve on those totals, but he’s not expected to be among the league leaders.
Doan has been an Olympian (2006 Canadian team), added for his leadership. He was considered for the 2010 team as well. He’s also been captain of the Canadian World Championship (in 2007), as well playing for the team in 2003, 2005, 2007-09. Ladd’s international experience is still at the beginning, but was the alternate captain on Canada’s 2011 World Championship team.
Two guys, drafted nine years apart, similar players whose careers are entwined by the two versions of the Winnipeg Jets.