The Islanders made their selection for a new captain on Wednesday, naming Swiss veteran swingman Mark Streit the new team leader. He was one of the alternate captains last season for the Islanders, sharing that role with former No. 1 draft pick John Tavares.
Streit takes over the role from the retired Dough Weight. He is the 13th captain in the franchise's history. Moreover, he is the first Swiss player to be named a captain of an NHL team.
"I have big footsteps to fill -- players from the past like Bryan Trottier, Denis Potvin, Pat LaFontaine. There's so much history here, it's an honor for me. And to be the first Swiss captain in the NHL, it's a big privilege."" Streit said at the news conference to announce the move. "I think the future is now. We want to win games."
Many believed that Tavares was the favorite to earn the C. Considering he's the face of the franchise and was the team's leading scorer last season at just 21 years of age, it seemed to make sense. Alas, they elected to go with the more veteran Streit, the team's top defenseman who also has a penchant for playing as forward.
Streit didn't play a single game last season for the Isles, sitting the year out after shoulder surgery. But he is expected to be fully recovered this season and New York is hoping he can return to his form from two seasons ago when he played in all 82 games and had 11 goals with 38 assists.
Despite being 33 years old, Streit doesn't have a whole heaping of NHL experience, but it is more than Tavares. He has just five seasons in the NHL under his belt, three with the Canadiens before going to New York. He does have experience as a captain under his belt, however, serving as the leader of the Swiss national team since the 2006 Olympics.
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