PHILADELPHIA | It’s impossible to argue that Dustin Stevenson is the best player among Capitals rookies. But he is one of the most experienced, so Mark French chose Stevenson as the captain for Thursday afternoon’s rookie game against the Flyers.
“Yeah, it was mine. I thought the fact that he had played a year in the organization – a full year in South Carolina – I kind of went with a seniority thing,” French said. “I thought it was a good opportunity to reward [him]. He’s a guy that’s well-liked by his teammates and we thought it was a good opportunity to reward some of the stuff we’ve seen.”
Stevenson, who had an assist but a couple bad penalties in the 3-2 loss, felt honored by French’s choice.
“It meant a lot. I try to be a leader on and off the ice,” he said. “There’s a lot of leaders in this room, but it felt good to come in here and see that on my jersey, but it also means you have a big responsibility ahead of you.”
Cody Eakin – probably the most talented player among Washington rookies – was one alternate captain, and Garrett Mitchell was the other.
Stevenson sounded like a captain afterward, too, following the penalties and more.
“You feel like you got to make up for it; you don’t want to let the guys down with a bad penalty,” he said. “You try not to think about it too much; you don’t let it bother you, just go out there and keep trying to play your game.”