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The National Hockey League (NHL) is a professional ice hockey league composed of 30 teams, founded in 1917.

Each team may select a captain, who has the "privilege of discussing with the referee any questions relating to interpretation of rules which may arise during the progress of a game."

Each team is also permitted to select alternate captains, who serve when the captain is not on the ice.

Captains are required to wear the letter "C" on their uniform for identification while alternate captains wear the letter "A"; both letters are 3 inches (7.6 cm) in height.

Rule 6.2 of the 2008–09 Official NHL Rulebook indicates that "[only] when the captain is not in uniform, the coach shall have the right to designate three alternate captains. This must be done prior to the start of the game."

Many NHL teams with a named captain select more than two alternate captains and rotate the "A" among these players throughout the season.

Currently, the Toronto Maple Leafs & Carolina Hurricanes do not have a captain after trading Dion Phaneuf and Eric Staal respectively, to other teams.

Goaltenders are not permitted to serve as captains during games. This rule was instituted in 1948 after teams complained that it took Montreal Canadiens goaltender Bill Durnan too long to skate to talk with the officials and back to his crease.

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo served as captain for two seasons (2008–09 and 2009–10), but because of the League's rule, he was not allowed to serve as captain on-ice or wear the "C" on his jersey, though it was incorporated into the artwork on his mask.

As a result, the Canucks were allowed to dress three alternate captains in games, as opposed to the League standard of two. Two (of the three) alternate captains handled on-ice duties in Luongo's place.

Other than Durnan and Luongo, five other goaltenders have captained their team: John Ross Roach of the Toronto St. Patricks, George Hainsworth of the Montreal Canadiens, Roy Worters of the New York Americans, Alec Connell of the original Ottawa Senators & Charlie Gardiner of the Chicago Black Hawks

When Connor McDavid was named captain of the Edmonton Oilers, he became the youngest permanent captain in NHL history.

Gabriel Landeskog of the Colorado Avalanche & Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins are the second- and third-youngest players to be named captain in NHL history, respectively.

In 1984, Brian Bellows was named interim captain of the Minnesota North Stars when Craig Hartsburg was injured and is the youngest player to captain a team in NHL history. However, because Bellows served only as an interim captain, McDavid retains the distinction of being the youngest permanent captain in the League's history.

Mark Messier is the only player to captain two separate teams to Stanley Cup championships, those being the 1990 Edmonton Oilers and the 1994 New York Rangers.

Sidney Crosby also became the youngest captain to win the Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009.

CaptainsEdit

Twenty-eight of the thirty NHL teams currently have a captain. The two teams without a captain are the Carolina Hurricanes and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The current longest-tenured captain in the League is Shane Doan of the Arizona Coyotes, who has served in the role since September 10, 2003.

As of October 9, 2016, six captains have been named prior to the 2016–17 NHL season: Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings, Alex Pietrangelo of the St. Louis Blues, Blake Wheeler of the Winnipeg Jets, Mike Fisher of the Nashville Predators, Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers and Derek MacKenzie of the Florida Panthers.

List of current NHL Captains
Team Captain Since Pos
Anaheim Ducks Getzlaf, RyanRyan Getzlaf 2010–11 C
Arizona Coyotes Doan, ShaneShane Doan 2003–04 RW
Boston Bruins Chara, ZdenoZdeno Chara 2006–07 D
Buffalo Sabres Gionta, BrianBrian Gionta 2014–15 RW
Calgary Flames Giordano, MarkMark Giordano 2013–14 D
Carolina Hurricanes

Vacant

2015–16
Chicago Blackhawks Toews, JonathanJonathan Toews 2008–09 C
Colorado Avalanche Landeskog, GabrielGabriel Landeskog 2012–13 LW
Columbus Blue Jackets Foligno, NickNick Foligno 2015–16 LW
Dallas Stars Benn, JamieJamie Benn 2013–14 LW
Detroit Red Wings Zetterberg, HenrikHenrik Zetterberg 2012–13 LW/C
Edmonton Oilers McDavid, ConnorConnor McDavid 2016–17 C
Florida Panthers

Derek MacKenzie

2016–17 C
Los Angeles Kings Kopitar, AnzeAnze Kopitar C
Minnesota Wild Koivu, MikkoMikko Koivu 2009–10 C
Montreal Canadiens Max Pacioretty 2015–16 LW
Nashville Predators

Mike Fisher

2016–17 C
New Jersey Devils Greene, AndyAndy Greene 2015–16 D
New York Islanders Tavares, JohnJohn Tavares 2013–14 C
New York Rangers McDonagh, RyanRyan McDonagh 2014–15 D
Ottawa Senators Karlsson, ErikErik Karlsson 2014–15 D
Philadelphia Flyers Giroux, ClaudeClaude Giroux 2012–13 C
Pittsburgh Penguins Crosby, SidneySidney Crosby 2007–08 C
St. Louis Blues Pietrangelo, AlexAlex PietrangeloTemplate:Dagger 2016–17 D
San Jose Sharks Pavelski, JoeJoe PavelskiTemplate:Dagger 2015–16 C/RW
Tampa Bay Lightning Stamkos, StevenSteven StamkosTemplate:Dagger 2013–14 C
Toronto Maple Leafs

Vacant

2015–16
Vancouver Canucks Sedin, HenrikHenrik Sedin 2010–11 C
Vegas Golden Knights TBD
Washington Capitals Ovechkin, AlexanderAlexander Ovechkin 2009–10 LW
Winnipeg Jets Wheeler, BlakeBlake Wheeler 2016–17 RW

Alternate CaptainsEdit

List of current NHL Alternate Captains
Team Alternate Captain(s) Since Pos
Anaheim Ducks Kesler, RyanRyan Kesler 2015–16 C
Perry, CoreyCorey Perry 2014–15 RW
Arizona Coyotes Ekman-Larsson, OliverOliver Ekman-Larsson 2014–15 D
Vrbata, RadimRadim Vrbata 2016-17 RW
Boston Bruins Bergeron, PatricePatrice Bergeron 2006–07 C
Krejci, DavidDavid Krejci 2013–14 C
Buffalo Sabres Gorges, JoshJosh Gorges 2014–15 D
O'Reilly, RyanRyan O'Reilly 2015–16 C
Calgary Flames Brouwer, TroyTroy Brouwer 2016–17 RW
Monahan, SeanSean Monahan 2015–16 C
Carolina Hurricanes Faulk, JustinJustin Faulk 2015–16 D
Rask, VictorVictor Rask 2016–17 C
Staal, JordanJordan Staal 2012–13 C
Skinner, JeffJeff SkinnerTemplate:Dagger 2016–17 LW
Chicago Blackhawks Keith, DuncanDuncan Keith 2008–09 D
Seabrook, BrentBrent Seabrook 2015–16 D
Colorado Avalanche Beauchemin, FrancoisFrancois Beauchemin 2016–17 D
Duchene, MattMatt DucheneTemplate:Dagger 2016–17 C
MacKinnon, NathanNathan MacKinnonTemplate:Dagger 2016–17 C
Columbus Blue Jackets Dubinsky, BrandonBrandon Dubinsky 2012–13 C
Jenner, BooneBoone JennerTemplate:Dagger 2015–16 C
Dallas Stars Sharp, PatrickPatrick Sharp 2016–17 LW
Spezza, JasonJason Spezza 2016–17 C
Detroit Red Wings Abdelkader, JustinJustin Abdelkader 2016–17 LW
Kronwall, NiklasNiklas Kronwall 2011–12 D
Edmonton Oilers Eberle, JordanJordan Eberle 2012–13 RW
Lucic, MilanMilan Lucic 2016–17 LW
Nugent-Hopkins, RyanRyan Nugent-Hopkins 2015–16 C
Florida Panthers
Ekblad, AaronAaron Ekblad 2016–17 D
Jokinen, JussiJussi Jokinen 2015–16 LW
Los Angeles Kings Carter, JeffJeff Carter 2015–16 C/RW
Doughty, DrewDrew Doughty 2016–17 D
Minnesota Wild Parise, ZachZach Parise 2012–13 LW
Suter, RyanRyan Suter 2012–13 D
Montreal Canadiens Gallagher, BrendanBrendan Gallagher 2015–16 RW
Markov, AndreiAndrei Markov 2008–09 D
Plekanec, TomasTomas Plekanec 2014–15 C
Weber, SheaShea Weber 2016–17 D
Nashville Predators
Josi, RomanRoman Josi 2015–16 D
Neal, JamesJames Neal 2014–15 LW
New Jersey Devils Cammalleri, MichaelMichael Cammalleri 2015–16 LW
Henrique, AdamAdam Henrique 2015–16 C
Zajac, TravisTravis Zajac 2013–14 C
New York Islanders
Clutterbuck, CalCal Clutterbuck 2016–17 RW
Hamonic, TravisTravis Hamonic 2016–17 D
Ladd, AndrewAndrew Ladd 2016–17 LW
New York Rangers Girardi, DanDan Girardi 2013–14 D
Nash, RickRick Nash 2016–17 LW
Staal, MarcMarc Staal 2010–11 D
Stepan, DerekDerek Stepan 2014–15 C
Ottawa Senators Neil, ChrisChris Neil [[2013–14 Ottawa Senators season|2013–14] RW
Phaneuf, DionDion Phaneuf 2016-17 D
Turris, KyleKyle Turris 2015–16 C
Philadelphia Flyers Bellemare, Pierre-EdouardPierre-Edouard Bellemare 2016–17 C
Simmonds, WayneWayne Simmonds 2014–15 RW
Pittsburgh Penguins Kunitz, ChrisChris Kunitz 2012–13 LW
Malkin, EvgeniEvgeni Malkin 2008–09 C
St. Louis Blues TBD
Stastny, PaulPaul Stastny 2016–17 C
Steen, AlexanderAlexander Steen 2011–12 LW
Tarasenko, VladimirVladimir Tarasenko 2016–17 RW
San Jose Sharks Couture, LoganLogan Couture 2015–16 C
Thornton, JoeJoe Thornton 2014–15 C
Tampa Bay Lightning Callahan, RyanRyan Callahan 2014–15 RW
Palat, OndrejOndrej Palat 2016–17 RW
Toronto Maple Leafs Bozak, TylerTyler Bozak 2015–16 C
Hunwick, MattMatt Hunwick 2015–16 D
Komarov, LeoLeo Komarov 2016–17 LW
Rielly, MorganMorgan Rielly 2016–17 D
Vancouver Canucks Alexander Edler 2016–17 D
Bo Horvat 2016–17 C
Daniel Sedin 2010–11 LW
Brandon Sutter 2016–17 C
Christopher Tanev 2016–17 D
Vegas Golden Knights TBD
Washington Capitals Backstrom, NicklasNicklas Backstrom 2010–11 C
Orpik, BrooksBrooks Orpik 2014–15 D
Winnipeg Jets Byfuglien, DustinDustin Byfuglien 2016–17 D
Scheifele, MarkMark Scheifele 2016–17 C