International Ice Hockey Federation

Leader of the pack

Leader of the pack

Cool historical facts about Worlds captains

Published 14.12.2021 15:38 GMT+2 | Author Lucas Aykroyd
Leader of the pack
ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - MAY 14: Canada's Corey Perry #24 flies into Slovakia's Tomas Jurco #13 in front of Julius Hudacek #33 during preliminary round action at the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/HHOF-IIHF Images)
Sometimes being the captain of a hockey team is more of a formality, but sometimes it truly sets the tone for that team. That holds true at the Worlds.

Let’s take a look at some cool historical facts about players who have worn the C at the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship over the years.

Six out of the 16 teams at the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship have captains who played in the NHL this season. They are Corey Perry (Canada), Tomas Plekanec (Czech Republic), Mikko Koivu (Finland), Pavel Datsyuk (Russia), Andrej Sekera (Slovakia), and Matt Hendricks (United States).

The only time the legendary Jaromir Jagr ever captained the Czech World Championship team was in 2002. The Czechs finished fifth at that tournament in Sweden.

The all-time highest NHL scorer ever to captain Canada at the Worlds is Marcel Dionne (ranked sixth with 1,755 career points). The “Little Beaver,” whose star shone brightest with the Los Angeles Kings, did the honours at the 1978 and 1986 tournaments, earning bronze both times.

Neither Jari Kurri nor Teemu Selanne ever captained Finland at an IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. Selanne, however, did get that honor at both the 2002 and 2014 Olympics.

Only one player has served as the World Championship captain for both the Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia. Vyacheslav Bykov brought home the gold for the USSR at the 1990 tournament, did it again with Russia in 1993, and came fifth in 1995. (Bykov would be even more successful as a coach during his run behind the national team bench from 2007 to 2011, earning two golds, a silver, and a bronze.)

When it comes to the major hockey powers, nobody can claim a longer interval between his first and last World Championship captaincies than Slovak star Miroslav Satan. The Topolcany-born winger first wore the C in 2000 at the age of 25 as Slovakia claimed its historic first medal in St. Petersburg (silver). Satan was 39 when he led the team at the 2014 tournament in Belarus, where Slovakia finished ninth.

In some cases, captains of national teams that compete below the elite World Championship division have longer tenures due to both their love of the game and their country’s smaller talent pools. For instance, Australia’s Glen Foll first put on the C in 1990 and last did so in 2006. For Belgium’s Tim Vos it was 1996 and 2010.

The longest-serving captain at the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship is France’s Laurent Meunier. This is his 12th year in a row with the C.


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