A few years ago, a Guelph Storm coach let the players vote on who should be captain for the upcoming season. It wasn't the final word, but the coach wanted to get a feel for the room and let the players have some say in the awarding of the 'C.'
One player, a veteran who was one of the team's most skilled players and who fans held in very high regard, received one vote. His own.
That's not meant to ridicule the player, but rather show that how a player is perceived outside the walls of the dressing room is often very different than how they are perceived within those walls.
You and I don't know who would make the right captain. The coaches have a sense of who would make the right captain. The players know who would make the right captain.
Many of the things that determine whether Garrett McFadden is a good choice for captain material are things you and I will never see.
Yes, "he comes to the rink everyday and works hard."
Yes, "he plays the right way."
Yes, "he leads by example."
Those are tangibles that are quantifiable by many, most importantly the coaches and general manager of the Guelph Storm.
But what really determines whether he is a good choice for captain is how McFadden is perceived within the walls of the Guelph Storm dressing room. How his teammates view him, his personality, his character and, perhaps most importantly, how he treats them.
One may ask, 'Then why not let players chose the captain?' Perhaps at a later stage in the game. But votes like that can turn into popularity contests with teenagers, or they might feel pressure to vote a certain way.
From the outside looking in, I think McFadden is the perfect choice for captain of the team.
There is no questioning that McFadden is a quality young man who cares about the team and the community.
The recent formation of McFadden's Movement to create awareness and discussion around the pressures of athletics are a shining example of that. It wasn't something he had to do, or felt pressured to do. It's something he wanted to do, for all the right reasons.
He is also known to be a young man who conducts himself the right way off the ice.
He is mature, reliable, committed and leads by example.
But at the end of the day it is his teammates that will have that final say.