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Quinn’s Questions: Is Pettersson Captain Material?

With Horvat speculation ramping up, we ask if EP40 would make a good future captain.

Minnesota Wild v Vancouver Canucks Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images

Quinn’s Questions is a feature where you the fans tell us your thoughts, through your vote and hopefully in the comments, as well. It’s named after Quinn Hughes, Pat Quinn, or both, depending on your age and era.


Results of Previous Quinn’s Questions: Whose jersey would you unretire?

None - 64%

Stan Smyl - 16%

Markus Naslund - 12%

Other - 8%

More or less what I thought, though I’m a tad surprised Naslund is so low. I thought there was some momentum behind the anti-Naslund Retirement movement. My respect to you, readers.


Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have probably heard that Bo Horvat may be on his way out.

With his contract set to expire soon and a career year underway, the offensive centreman could be the centrepiece of a big trade for the Canucks. Such a move would obviously have big ramifications for the club. What they get back could significantly impact what kind of direction they take moving forward, and how they replace in the immediate term is a big question that would fundamentally change how we all view a potential playoff push.

And, of course, he is the captain.

Moving the captain is a big symbolic move, as well as one that will alter locker room dynamics in a big way. How they handle Horvat’s departure will be heavily scrutinized, and in some senses, it should be. I thought about asking the obvious question of who will be the next captain, but I’m sure plenty of ink will be spilled on that if Horvat is moved. Instead, I want to focus on who I think the obvious successor is: Elias Pettersson.

Back at the start of the 2019-20 campaign, when Horvat was named captain, some were already saying that Pettersson should don the C, despite only heading into his sophomore year at the time. Now, I think that take was dumb. I think it was largely founded out of contrarianism or some other galaxy brained reasoning. Now, though, with EP several seasons into his career, it makes total sense.

He is almost certainly the club’s best player. He leads the team with a highly impressive 34 points in 29 games, while being their most consistent and dynamic player on a game-to-game basis. On raw talent, he’s the team’s top asset and most exciting piece. He also has the temperament to be captain: he’s well spoken but also shows personality when dealing with fans the media. And perhaps more importantly, he’s faced and handled adversity. The first half of last year was not kind to #40, but instead of sulking, he put in the time to improve, round out his game, and reemerge as the one of the NHL’s premier talents.

Elias Pettersson has matured leaps and bounds since he entered the league. His on ice game is top notch, and as a person, he has become well equipped for a leadership role in one of the most scrutinized markets in the sport. Should Horvat indeed be shipped out, I think he’s the obvious choice to be the next captain.

What do you think? Do you think Pettersson has what it takes to be the next captain? Maybe you think someone else is better equipped — fair enough, I suppose, and I’d love to hear the rationale in the comments. Vote away, and also, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, readers. This is the last Quinn’s Questions pre-Christmas, so thank you all for reading and I hope you enjoy your holiday!

Poll

If Horvat îs traded, would you name Elias Pettersson the next captain?

This poll is closed

  • 72%
    Yes
    (87 votes)
  • 27%
    No
    (33 votes)
120 votes total Vote Now