Cody McLeod: Should He Be Alternate Captain?


Left wing Cody McLeod is one of two alternate captains on the Colorado Avalanche. Cody McLeod is an energy player who gets way more fights than goals credited to his name. Cody McLeod is a fourth-liner who sees about 11 minutes of ice time per game.

And Cody McLeod is one of two alternate captains for the Colorado Avalanche.

Cody McLeod, Alternate Captain

Cody McLeod is the longest-tenured player on the Colorado Avalanche, having played all of is eight of his NHL seasons with the team. You can say a lot of things about Cody McLeod, but you can never question his heart. A player like McLeod is all heart — with a healthy dose of grit.

McLeod is never going to put up big offensive numbers. That’s not his role. Rather, he’s meant to be, as head coach Patrick Roy puts it, “a warrior, a great team guy and a great leader on this team.”

McLeod earned his letter when the team was still coached by Joe Sacco. However, coach Roy made no attempt to alter his alternate captaincy. He reasoned, “He’s not just a fourth-line guy.”

When asked about his letter during a locker room presser, McLeod looked bashful and remarked, “I guess the guys like me.”

Well, there’s certainly one guy who likes him — full-on captain Gabriel Landeskog. He calls McLeod “the ultimate teammate, the ultimate team player.”

Landeskog adds:

"“He’s the guy you want to go out to battle with. He’s the guy you want on your team. He’s not fun to play against but certainly the guys want him on your side of the trenches. It’s testament to his character and who he is. He’s got one of the toughest jobs, but yet he goes out there and does it year in, year out, day in, day out. He’s a leader, and guys follow him.”"

That’s pretty high praise from the man tasked to wear the “C” on his chest.

Cody McLeod, Alternate Captain?

One of our regular readers and a real firecracker, Sweetmamalou, has taken to referring to the player in question “Cody (face of the franchise) McLeod” in commentary. I’m pretty sure that’s ironic.

See, when a player wears a letter denoting captaincy or alternate captaincy, there is some expectation that he represents the team. Leadership is all well and good, but as coach Roy himself points out, there are a lot of leaders on the team. Not all leaders wear letters.

We return to the observation that Cody McLeod is a fighter and energy player who does time on the fourth line. He spends a lot more time arguing with the referees than representing the team to them, which was part of the rationale for offering the other “A” to veteran Jarome Iginla.

There’s also the little matter of what type of team the Colorado Avalanche is. The team has always been based on speed and scoring acumen. That is certainly not the type of player anyone would claim Cody McLeod is.

A lot of the arguments against McLeod are based on who fans would rather see wearing that “A.” The heavy favorite is center Matt Duchene, who is absolutely everything the Colorado Avalanche claim to be as a team. Defenseman Erik Johnson has a good following, too, especially since he’s the de facto leader of the blueliners. Both of those players are younger than McLeod and just so much more skilled and talented — more who the Colorado Avalanche are as a team.

So, many fans feel that, since not all leaders need to wear letters, McLeod can lead without wearing his. Let one of the young, skilled guys be the actual face of the franchise.

What do you think, Avs Nation? Should Cody McLeod continue to be the Colorado Avalanche’s alternate captain?

Next: Avs Player Profile: Cody McLeod

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