WILMINGTON -- Claude Julien has a long laundry list of things to accomplish in a six-day training camp to get ready for the NHL season, but hashing out the second alternate captain for the Black and Gold hasnt been one of them.
Zdeno Chara has been the Bruins captain since arriving prior to the 2006-07 season, and that wont be changing anytime soon. Patrice Bergeron holds the first 'A' letter on his sweater and is the acknowledged second-in-command among the players within the organizations leadership structure.
Mark Recchi had been the easy choice as the third captain until he retired after Bostons Stanley Cup victory. Last season Julien went with a different tact and split the second 'A' between the veteran defenseman Andrew Ference and third line center Chris Kelly, and alternated responsibilities between home and road games.
On the Bruins there are, of course, many candidates that could fill that kind of symbolic leadership role. Shawn Thornton acts, plays and leads like a captain on the Bruins at all times, but isnt on the ice quite as much as some of the other players that are captain-type material.
Milan Lucic, David Krejci, Gregory Campbell and Dennis Seidenberg are among a second wave of alternate captain candidates looking to shoulder more responsibility among their teammates. All would make fine choices while playing their part with a Stanley Cup championship on their hockey resume.
Will he do something similar to last year when he split the alternate captain duties between Ference and Kelly?
Probably, said Julien. On my list of 'to dos,' that is really low. Maybe ask me on Saturday morning or Friday after practice, because thats when things will be more of a priority.
But weve got a lot of the same guys and it could be FerenceKelly unless we get together with the guys and decide to do something else. I dont think theres a big reason to make a lot of changes that way.
So it sounds like it will once again be Kelly and Ference alternating while assisting Chara and Bergeron with the honorable A on their Black and Gold sweater.