Thank you to all of those who voted in the 'Who Should Be Captain' poll. The results are in, and the overwhelming majority of you believe Mark Streit should wear the 'C' in 2011-2012.
Nearly 60% of respondents chose the Swiss native. I imagine he will be strongly considered for the captaincy. He is in the midst of a long term contract that tied him to Long Island, has been a top scoring defenseman when healthy, and has led by example. His quiet demeanor suits him well for the top role.
Finishing second in the polling was Kyle Okposo (24%). Kyle has become one of the young 'faces' of the franchise, but has he done enough to earn the 'C'?
Kyle has played under 200 games as an Islander due to various ailments over his first few seasons. He, like Streit, is more of a quiet leader who lets his game talk for him.
However, the ink has just dried on a fresh five year contract that keeps him an Islander through 2016. He is also one of the longest tenured "young" Islanders (at age 23) with parts of four seasons under his belt. And though people may be reading too much into it, he was asked to announce the selection of #5 pick Ryan Strome at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft on Friday.
John Tavares finished with nearly 10% of the total votes. I think this is just a case of him being too young, despite evidence of his overwhelming talent. I think he's certainly in line for an 'A' on his sweater this coming season.
Lastly, 'other' received 5 votes (8%). I'm not quite sure who people had in mind, as nobody left a comment proposing an alternative to the three listed. Trent Hunter and Rick DiPietro have the most tenure with the Islanders at this point, though I can't see either being awarded with a 'C' (and generally goaltenders are prohibited from becoming captains).
I think the people got it right. I expect Mark Streit to be named the new captain, succeeding the recently retired Doug Weight. I wouldn't rule out Kyle being the honoree, but I wouldn't bet the house on it.
If you have any further thoughts or names, I'd love to hear them.