In terms of leadership, communication, and humble attitudes, The Detroit Red Wings have never been starved of the qualities you look for in a captain, at least not recently. From Sid Abel to Dylan Larkin and everyone in between, the city of Detroit has been blessed with some incredible men who proudly wore the “C” on their sweaters.
Unfortunately, there is a larger-than-ideal portion of casual hockey fans that determine greatness by numbers and stats. I am here to argue that, although it is a contributing factor, leadership cannot be measured by stats and stats alone. Believe it or not, numbers can actually be used with an agenda in mind, turning them into a detriment when making an argument. I know, crazy. Right?
So, what makes a good captain of an NHL team? Being an Original Six hockey team brings years of history and thousands of players that have stepped on a sheet of ice wearing the winged wheel. For as many legends that have worn the captain’s insignia, there have been countless number more who have worn the “A” as an alternate since the inception of the league.
To lay the groundwork for this list, it must be stated that only true captains were considered. Players who wore the “C” on their jersey and were the sole captain of the Detroit Red Wings. For recency’s sake, let’s take a look at the five Detroit Red Wings captains of the last 40 years and attempt to rank an almost immeasurable quality.