Follow the leaders 0
TINA PEPLINSKIE firstname.lastname@example.org The Pembroke Lumber Kings leadership team consists of (from left) alternate captains Ben Dalpe, Phil Drouin, Mike Crocock, co-captain Tyler Gaudet, alternate captain Charlie Connell, co-captain Sam Gleason and alternate captains Patrice Wren and Stephen Hrehoriak. For more community photos, please visit our website photo gallery at www.thedailyobserver.ca.
After evaluating the team for more than a month, the Pembroke Lumber Kings’ coaching staff has opted to go with an eight-player leadership group this season.
Earlier this week, Kings’ coach and general manager Sheldon Keefe announced veterans Sam Gleason and Tyler Gaudet will serve as co-captains while Ben Dalpe, Patrice Wren, Charlie Connell, Phil Drouin, Stephen Hrehoriak and Mike Crocock were named alternate captains.
Under the system, four players will wear the letters on the white jerseys while the other four players will wear the letters on the red jerseys.
While the team has experimented with various systems over the years, from one captain and alternates to no captain, this year the coaches felt the leadership group would help to spread out the responsibilities between a number of players.
“This way you get more guys that take ownership of the responsibility at the same time,” Keefe said. “It also provides a larger group of players that the others can go to and lean on depending on the situation.”
With so many new players on the team, the coaches felt it was important to take their time, observe and get to know the players and watch their interaction with the younger players before making a decision. While eight players have letters on their jerseys, there is an onus on everyone to step up.
“I think this is a nice group that will complement each other well,” the coach said. “We have identified a group to be the voice of the room, that we will communicate with and hold accountable for what’s happening on and off the ice.”
The coaches also wanted to choose players the community and fans could associate with.
Gleason and Gaudet were both honoured to be chosen to wear the ‘C’.
“With so many new players especially, to be chosen as a leader is a great privilege,” Gaudet said.
For Gleason, as a local player who played under captains Sean Crozier and Ben Reinhardt and idolized them, it is a particular honour.
“We have a deep leadership group because everyone brings different experiences from the other leagues and incorporates them into one to help out in different situations,” Gleason said.
Keefe referred to Gleason as one of the few remaining pieces of the team’s national championship and with his local connection, he is an example of how he stuck with it after limited playing time in his first two seasons.
He called Gaudet a quiet leader, who is hard working and committed to the team.
“I think he and Sam complement each other well and we like that partnership,” Keefe said.
The Kings’ next game is Sunday night when they host the Ottawa Jr. Senators starting at 7 p.m. at the PMC.