Monday, September 22, 2008

Malkin in the "Lead" for an "A"

If you haven't already noticed, Evgeni Malkin has a significant size lead in my poll that's part of the sidebar to the right. A lot of readers (33 to be exact; making up 53% of the votes) believe that Malkin should wear an "A" this season when asked who you think should be the one given the honor this season. I am one of those who believe he should be one of the alternates this year especially since he has finally taken learning to speak English seriously and can do so now without the aid of an interpreter (prior to that, before knowing how much better he was at speaking English, I was seriously considering changing my mind) and it's a belief that even Malkin himself shares with me.

"There are more people, older ... not me, no way," Malkin said. "Maybe a couple years more. I need to speak English."
It sounds to me that he still is not confident enough for such a responsibility; however, coach Michel Therrien seems to feel differently. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that Malkin is "definitely under consideration to serve as an alternate captain this season" for the Penguins according to Therrien who calls Malkin one of the team's leaders. Others such as Brooks Orpik, Sergei Gonchar and Sidney Crosby also share in Therrien's belief that Malkin would make a good alternate.

"I think so," Crosby said. "He's a guy that we're going to depend on a lot. If he's the guy that gets a responsibility like that, it's well-deserved."

The Trib-Review says that Orpik and Gonchar "insist Malkin is fluent enough to handle primary responsibilities of an alternate -- officially to speak with on-ice officials, unofficially to deal with the media."

"Maybe the language would be a little bit of a problem in the beginning," Gonchar said. "But I do believe he's getting better. He's more comfortable. He's going to speak more and more (this season). It's kind of (a) natural (progression)."
Rob Rossi has voiced his opinion on more than one occasion that he believes it's Brooks Orpik who would be a prime candidate for an alternate captain; he's already called him "an ideal alternate captain candidate" in his blog and it's led to his most recent blog appropriately called "The Orpik Endorsement." I can't say I disagree with him. Even after only seeing him play last Saturday, I feel comfortable saying that Orpik is showing some great leadership. I feel as though he's taken on some responsibility upon himself and it would be a role I think he's well-suited for. Here's what Rossi thinks:

With every passing drill, it becomes more obvious that defenseman Brooks Orpik has become a clear leader for the Penguins. Not that coach Michel Therrien makes habit of taking our advice, but if there is a better candidate for an alternate captain, we don’t know of one.
AS A NOTE, the players sporting an "A" at this past Saturday's pre-season game were Sergei Gonchar and Daryl Sydor.

We'll definitely find out soon enough if they remain the alternate captains or not -- unless Gonchar is out for an extended period of time, I would think that he would keep his "A" (and I can't wait to find out)!


Vince said...


Just to weigh in, I do not think Malkin can wear the A just yet. As the alternate captain, if the Captain is not on the ice, the alternate is responsible for speaking to the refs, and since geno's english just isn't there yet, i think he will have to wait another year to start sporting the A.

Life_As_A_Redhead said...

My opinion...

If there is any doubt in his (Malkin's) mind. Then no, he should not wear an A.

The MOST important aspect of taking on a leadership role in confidence in one's ability to lead. If he doubts himself. Then how can he stand up for others.