On Monday, October 11th, the Seattle Kraken captain was named. On the day before opening night, Seattle announced Mark Giordano would serve as their captain heading into the inaugural campaign. To serve alongside him, the franchise selected Jordan Eberle, Yanni Gourde, Adam Larsson, and Jaden Schwartz as alternate captains.
All five of the players chosen as captains came to Seattle via the expansion draft this summer. So far, the quintet already appeared as leaders on and off the ice for the team through training camp and pre-season. Their official recognition as the team’s leaders within the dressing room now cements that status.
Captain of the Seattle Kraken has a nice ring to it.
— Seattle Kraken (@SeattleKraken) October 11, 2021
Seattle Kraken Captain Vacancies Filled
Some assumed the Kraken would wait to name a captain, and perhaps enter the year with only alternates. But with one day to spare, they went the other direction. Mark Giordano was already favoured to receive the captaincy title; he had captained the Calgary Flames previously and did so for many years. Now, after a 15-year stint in Alberta, this will be the first year that Gio has suited up for another team.
However, just because the flaming-“C” won’t be on the centre of his jersey any longer doesn’t mean the smaller “C” shouldn’t be. Swapping that Flames logo with the tentacled-“S” of the Kraken might be a massive change for the defenceman, but his approach to the game won’t change with it. Because of his natural leadership ability, his wealth of NHL experience, and high-end talent to boot, the 38-year old blueliner stood out as the team’s best option. It will come as no surprise around the league to see Giordano captaining another franchise.
Leaders on and off the ice.
Jordan Eberle (@jeberle_7), Yanni Gourde (@YanniGourde), Adam Larsson (@AdamLarsson3) and Jaden Schwartz will serve as your #SeaKraken Alternate Captains for the 2021-22 season. pic.twitter.com/LcmqTGFbz4
— Seattle Kraken (@SeattleKraken) October 11, 2021
The new Seattle Kraken captain wasn’t alone in today’s announcements. Joining Giordano are four others who will serve as his alternates.
Though he won’t be in the lineup on opening night, Gourde’s presence and work ethic earned him one of the captain slots in Seattle. Gourde progressed ahead of the original timetable for his injury and has already progressed beyond the non-contact jersey phase in practices as well. He should return soon, but not in time for opening night. The 29-year old has 187 career points (80 goals / 107 assists) in 310 career games. Once healthy, he’ll immediately slot into the top six.
An 11-year NHL veteran, Eberle might be the most skilled hockey player of the current Kraken forward group. The team will lean on him both for production and leadership now that he’s received a letter. He’s coming off a 33-point campaign in 55 games and has 551 career points (241 goals / 310 assists) in 779 games. Over a full 82 game season, Eberle should contribute 20-30 goals, which will be a must for this team to find success.
Larsson is the only defenceman to wear a letter aside from Seattle Kraken captain Gio himself. Larsson split the first ten years of his career in half between the New Jersey Devils and Edmonton Oilers. He amassed 137 points over 603 games in that span, plus 1454 hits and 1063 blocked shots. The Kraken need Larsson to provide that shut-down talent in their own end, as well as his two-way game. The 28-year-old can break the puck out efficiently, kill penalties, and make sacrifices in his own end for the team. He’ll be leading by example with an “A” on his chest as well.
Schwartz needs to bounce back in a big way this season, and it seems Seattle is confident he will do so. He only scored eight goals and 21 points through 40 games last year. However, in seasons prior he’s consistently reached the 50-65 point plateau. Schwartz will play a top-six role all season on the wing, so will get plenty of opportunities to find the net. Expect a big year from him, as the change of scenery appears to already be having a positive effect. He scored a handful of goals through preseason and is having a lot of fun doing so.
What This Means Going Forward
The official recognition of these five players as captains actually doesn’t change a lot within the team itself. The roster already knew who it was turning to in the locker room for guidance, who the coaches were using as examples for the way they want to play. Giordano embodies what the Seattle Kraken captain needs to be. The fact that three of the top forwards on the team are also now the alternate captains is no coincidence. And Larsson plays the defence-first, hard-nosed style of hockey this team wants the whole roster to portray.
Essentially, this helps define what the Kraken wants to look like. Hard-working, defensive-minded, responsible. No surprises here, but a huge congratulations to the five players on receiving this official recognition. Now, the Kraken fanbase wants to see them put it all together, starting tomorrow night.