On the precipice of the Florida Panthers’ 25th Anniversary Season, Cats’ President of Hockey Operations & General Manager Dale Tallon announced the naming of Aleksander Barkov as team captain.
“Aleksander Barkov is ready to be the captain of the Florida Panthers,” said Tallon. “He has all of the qualities of a great leader: unrivaled work ethic, wisdom beyond his years and the respect and admiration of his teammates. Aleksander’s determination and passion for the game have made him one of the NHL’s best and most complete players. The time was right for Aleksander to be named the captain of this franchise and I’m certain that he will bring the same high standard of class and dedication to the captaincy that he brings to the rink every single day.”
Given the remarkable amount of praise for the young pivot in recent weeks by teammates, this announcement comes with little surprise. Rumors began to swirl when Derek MacKenzie was seen wearing a Cats sweater without the usual “C” sewn over the crest. This decision merely affirms the level of respect and admiration Barkov has garnered in the locker room due to his work ethic and workmanlike attitude.
Barkov is coming off the heels of his most productive season as a professional, scoring 78 points in 79 games, leading the Panthers to a valiant second-half push that fell one point short of playoff qualification.
A native of Tampere, Finland, Barkov was drafted in the 2013 NHL Draft at 2nd overall by the Florida Panthers. Entering his sixth NHL campaign, Barkov is signed through the conclusion of 2021-2022 season at a cap hit of $5.9M.
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He Deserves It, But Rather Have Seen Someone Else