Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Look at "Wearing the C" by Ross Bernstein (Author), Bobby Clarke (Foreword), Scott Stevens (Foreword)

O Captain, my Captain...

This is a look at the book Wearing the C, Leadership Secrets of Hockey's Greatest Captains by Ross Bernstein. Everyone sees the player with the 'C' stitched on the jersey, but what the heck does he really do besides talk to the refs? This book explains the role of being a team captain (which is a heck of a lot more involved then I ever thought.)

Mikko Koivu, Wayne Gretzky, Derian Hatcher, Gordie Howe, Brett Hull, Ray Bourque, Zdeno Chara, and so many (too many to list) more all have a write up about how the feel/felt about being a captain.  Almost all loved (most of the time anyway) being captain. Phil Esposito was the odd ball out. Esposito didn't care one bit about being named captain. "What did it mean to me [Esposito] to wear the 'C'? Not a f [bleep]g thing!" p33

"Did You Know?  Steve Yzerman wore the C for a league-record 20 seasons with Detroit and led the Wings to three Stanley Cups. He was considered such an icon to the franchise that, when they retired his number, they put a C right on his banner at Joe Louis Arena. So it will always be known that, even in retirement, Yzerman is the Red Wings' captain." p110

There is also interviews of players about captains the players themselves looked up to.  Shjon Podein was impressed by Joe Sakic, who in 2001, was handed the Stanley Cup by the NHL commissioner and immediately handed the Cup off to Ray Bourque to hoist first instead of taking the captain's traditional time with the Cup before everyone else.  It was Bourque's first (and last) Stanley Cup in his 2 decades of playing hockey.

Chapter 3 of the book interviews coaches and how they pick their captains.  And "What;s the deal with Players-Only  Meetings?" (p213) is covered in chapter 4. Life lessons learned from being a team captain is the last chapter in the book. It is interesting to see all the answers from the different captains.

"Gary Suter: For me, it was about learning to deal with the highs and the lows.  Whether it's in hockey or in life, you're going to have successes and you're going to have failures. It's how you deal with them, however, that matters.  You can't get too high and you can't get too low, you have to stay steady and keep plowing forward. That's it." p262

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