Officially captains have no other responsibility or authority, although they may, depending on the league or individual team, have various informal duties, such as participation in pre-game ceremonies or other events outside the game. Although the rules do not specify any other distinction between the captain and his teammates, the captain has numerous responsibilities to the team, particularly in North American professional hockey. The captain is a dressing room leader, and also represents the players’ concerns to management. The captain is often considered the primary representative of the team to the public, and sometimes is responsible for organizing the team’s social functions and performing ceremonial on-ice functions, usa hockey official rule book pdf as award presentations or ceremonial faceoffs.
NHL teams need not designate the same player as captain from game to game, though most teams do. Middleton wore the “C” during home games and Bourque for road games during the season’s first half, and the two switched for the second half. This arrangement continued until Middleton retired in 1988 and Bourque became the sole captain. During each NHL game, however, only one player can officially be designated as captain. Captains are usually veteran players, though on occasion younger players are chosen. Captains are selected by different means: in some instances, teams have held votes among their players to choose a team captain, while on other occasions, the choice was made by team management.
Captains are often chosen due to their seniority in the game and years of service with their current club. However, franchise players—current or emerging stars—have also been named captains. Though not required, many captains have previously served as alternate captains of their team. Some selections or removals of NHL captaincies have been controversial, more so than the other North American professional sports leagues.
Ballard would liken Sittler’s actions to burning the Canadian flag. Teams may designate alternate captains, also often erroneously called “assistant captains”. Alternate captains wear the letter “A” on their jerseys in the same manner that team captains wear the “C”. In the NHL, teams may appoint a captain and up to two alternate captains, or they may appoint three alternate captains and no captain. A team commonly has three alternate captains when the team has not selected a captain, or when the serving captain is injured and misses a game.
Captain and no more than two Assistant Captains. Hockey Canada, teams are allowed to have a captain with up to three assistant captains. If the team chooses to not appoint a captain, they are not permitted to appoint a fourth assistant captain. When the captain is off the ice or unavailable for the game, any assistant captain on the ice is responsible for fulfilling the captain’s official role as liaison to the referees. NHL teams may choose assistant captains from game to game or appoint regular assistant captains for the season.