CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville has someone in mind to replace Patrick Sharp as alternate captain next season.
Quenneville just wasn’t divulging who that was Saturday morning, when a fan asked him about it during the coaches’ panel at the Blackhawks convention.
“I think I know who I want to do it, who’s deserving of it, who’s a perfect fit,” Quenneville said while fans yelled players’ names. “That’s not to be determined today.”
Sharp, who was traded July 10 to the Dallas Stars, began consistently wearing an "A" during the 2007-08 season. When Quenneville came aboard for the 2008-09 season, Sharp was joined by Duncan Keith as the other alternate captain. Jonathan Toews was made team captain that season.
Quenneville’s likely choice this time around is Brent Seabrook. Seabrook has often filled in as an alternate captain, including this past season when Sharp was injured.
Seabrook and Keith are the longest-tenured Blackhawks. Both defensemen were rookies in the 2005-06 season. Seabrook has played 763 regular-season games and 112 playoff games for the Blackhawks.
Quenneville spoke about Seabrook’s leadership and clutch playoff performance the past month.
“Seabs in the room, around the guys, he’s one of those guys that you look up and says the right things, does the right things on the bench, as well over the course of meaningful games and big shifts,” Quenneville said June 1. “He seems to rise to the challenge. We’ve seen him come up with some clutch goals in overtime and regular season the same way. The bigger the games get, the more he responds.”
Forwards Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa could also be options to wear the "A." Hossa is the Blackhawks’ oldest player and is highly respected by his teammates. Kane is one of the faces of the franchise, and he is expected to be for many years to come.