Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Breaking News: McDonagh, Stepan Back Next Season?

Honestly, I'm handling this retiring thing like number 4, so I apologize for that. But the Badger men's hockey team held it's awards banquet today and we'll get to that in a little bit. The main point of focus in my mind? This little tidbit from UWBadgers.com

"Also of note are Wisconsin’s captains for the 2010-11 campaign. Defenseman Ryan McDonagh, who served as one of the team’s tri-captains this past season, will hold the duty by himself next season. Joining McDonagh in the leadership corps will be forward Derek Stepan, who will serve as assistant captain. Stepan finished this past season as the Badgers’ leading scorer, and also captained Team USA to a gold medal at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship. A second assistant captain is expected to be named at a later time."

I would have to think that the Badger coaching staff would be a little bit careful handling a situation like this and they wouldn't go out and name a Captain and Alternate Captain without having a pretty strong indication whether or not they were going to be with the program next season.

This by no means is a guarantee that either Stepan or McDonagh will be back for sure, but it's certainly a step in the right direction. Getting Ryan McDonagh for four years and Derek Stepan for three would be fabulous.

As noted by Todd Milewski and Brad Elliott Schlossman, there has been an example where a player has been named a Captain and still gone pro early. Last season Boston University defenseman Brian Strait was announced and ended up signing with the Penguins. Although keep in mind that BU was coming off winning the National Title. Something to note though obviously.