Who Should Be Hartford’s Next Captain?
The group of veterans on Hartford’s roster for the upcoming season have well-written resumes on the ice, and as we approach October, the roster is likely set with the exception of signings geared towards the Maine Mariners.
When it comes to will be the next captain in Wolf Pack history, that is a bit of a mystery. With a new coaching staff, led by Kris Knoblauch, there are a number of qualified veterans that can wear the captain’s C and help push the team.
Selecting a new captain is not a straight forward process in Hartford. There have been some seasons that saw the players select the captain while other seasons had the coaching staff pick the captain.
To me, there are a few players that should be in the conversation. However, there is one trend that is alarming within the Rangers farm team. Past captains for the Wolf Pack have either been traded mid-season or performed so miserably that they were either demoted, traded, or not re-signed for the upcoming season – Matt Bodie, Ryan Bourque and Joe Whitney to name a few.
The 30-year-old AHL veteran has the strongest resume out of any veteran for the Wolf Pack. LoVerde was the captain for three seasons with the Manchester Monarchs/Ontario Reign franchise. Since then, he’s worn the A with the Toronto Marlies in each of the last two campaigns. In the span of five seasons with an elevated role in the locker room, LoVerde won the Calder Cup twice. He knows how to win, and will be a crucial resource in mentoring the young defensive prospects.
Fogarty has been with Hartford since turning pro in 2015. Over the course of four seasons, Fogarty has grown and adapted to become an ideal forward for the Wolf Pack. He plays a 200-foot game, being able to contribute offensively while locking it down defensively. He’s faced plenty of ups and downs and has fought hard to become a better player, despite Hartford not being much to write home about. Last season was the best season for the forward as he reached 52 points (21G, 31A) – more than double his production from the each of the two prior seasons. He also earned the ”A” on his sweater for the entire 2018-19 season.
If McKegg joins Hartford at the beginning of the season, he would be a great veteran presence for the youngsters with the Wolf Pack. He knows how to transition from one league to the other and is able to help prospect transition when there are call ups. On the other hand, if a player gets re-assigned to Hartford, it can damper the prospect mentally. McKegg can help steer the prospects in these situations. Despite not having the ”C” or ”A” in his career, McKegg proves to be a good candidate with an elevated role for the Wolf Pack.
Is there a ”curse” on whoever bears the captain’s ”C” in Hartford? Maybe, maybe not. But whoever wears the ”C” next season will need to step up their game to help lead the Pack back into relevancy in the AHL.