At the end of the 20014-15 HL season Nick Foligno was named captain of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Foligno would remain as captain until he was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs for a first round draft pick this past NHL regular season. A fixture both on the ice and in the community in Columbus made Nick Foligno a popular figure. As his contract will expire when the Stanley Cup Champion is crowned there has been some chatter the former captain could sign with the Blue Jackets.
Recently Columbus Blue Jackets, General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen and President of Hockey Operations, John Davidson both said that todays NHL is a “young mans league.” So the question is would the Blue Jackets really choose to bring back a 33 year old Foligno?
There have been players who have served as captain longer than Foligno did for the Blue Jackets. One thing to remember is that being captain of a team is hard work. Players need to constantly reinvent there approach to leadership. In other words they can not allow their voice to become stale.
At 32 years old Cam Atkinson can be a veteran leader as can 31 year old Gustav Nyquist. Being a young mans league two players 30ish years old is probably the max a team should carry in order to allow younger players the ice time they need.
Nick Foligno and his family have said they love Columbus, Ohio. He also said after he was traded to Toronto he would strongly consider signing with the Blue Jackets after the season.
It is my opinion for a franchise on the cusp of a rebuild, that a new voice and new leader is needed. Nick Foligno will always have a special place in the hearts of Blue Jackets fans. He will surely be cheered whenever he comes back in town with the team he plays for.
Again it is my opinion that a new captain is needed as a new dawn of Columbus Blue Jackets hockey is set to embark.