As of this morning Andrew Ference is no longer the captain of the Oilers. And we'll have to wait a year before we learn who the team's 19th captain will be as the team will be going with four alternates this season: Ference along with Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
I've never been a big believer that the player wearing the "C" really matters all that much. It makes for a good story but honestly, how many wins better would the Oilers have been last season if someone other than Ference had been the team's captain? I can't imagine it would be more than one, and I doubt it would even be that much.
For my money it'll be Taylor Hall who gets named as the Oilers next captain. When it was announced that Connor McDavid would be living with him this season, I saw that as a sign that the team is asking him to step up and take a bigger leadership role. Assuming that he doesn't fall on his face in that role this season, I fully extect that about this time next year, as the Oielrs prepare to move into Rogers Place, that he'll be named the team's next captain.
Some will undoubtedly think it should be McDavid who gets the "C" on the front of his jersey next season, but I don't see any reason to rush the kid into anything. That might seem a little strange given that I don't think the captaincy affects the team's on-ice fortunes at all, but there are pressures that come with that job that I feel he would be better off not having to worry about right now. Let Hall do that for three or four years and when it's time for McDavid to take that next step, he can be the captain then.