Who Should Wear The 'C' For The Calgary Flames In 2022?

The Calgary Flames have yet to name a captain since the departure of Mark Giordano when he was taken by the Seattle Kraken in the expansion draft, and after not naming one in 2021, it seems that the time is right. Two potential Flames captains left this off-season in Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk, so who remains in Calgary that could follow in the footsteps of Lanny McDonald, Jerome Iginla, Giordano and others? 

The obvious choice is the longest tenured Flame, in current third line centre, Mikael Backlund. No. 11 has been with the Flames for his entire 15-year career since he was drafted in 2007, and given that he has given his all to Calgary for the last 15 seasons, he's the perfect leader, beside whom all his teammates would happily skate into battle with. Over that span, Backlund has put up 166 goals and 270 assists for 436 career points, leaving him 11th in Flames history in points, and while not the goal scorer his former teammates were, he's a great leader and the best choice for the job.

One other potential option would be the newly acquired Jonathan Huberdeau, who has said all the right things since arriving in Calgary, including signing a 8-year, $10.5 AAV contract, leading to speculation that he's a genuine candidate for the C. The new Johnny Hockey in Calgary certainly will become a fan favourite, along with Mackenzie Weegar and Nazem Kadri, and whether or not he's chosen, Huberdeau will become a huge part of Calgary and the Flames organization. 

Beyond that, Calgary have three defencemen with good leadership qualities in Chris Tanev, Noah Hanifin and Rasmus Andersson, and while they're all great candidates, they seem like players that would lead through their actions, and more likely to remain with an 'A' than anything. 

Ultimately, Backlund is the obvious choice, and if the Flames want to reward toughness, loyalty and good leadership, it's just a matter of time until Daryl Sutter gives No. 11 the well-deserved 'C'.

Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports