Ray Bourque became such a respected leader during his time in Boston that Bruins fans openly pulled for the defenseman to win a Stanley Cup even after he was dealt away. His contributions also earned him a spot on NHL.com's 10 best captains list.
Bourque, who won the Norris Trophy five times and guided the B's to the postseason every full season he was in Boston, ranks No. 9 on the list put together by NHL columnist John Kreiser. He's listed one spot ahead of Shane Doan, a free agent who has spent his entire career with the Phoenix organization.
The list includes most of the names you'd expect to see, and even includes Sidney Crosby, who is still just 25. He's ranked seventh, one spot ahead of Joe Sakic and one spot behind Bobby Clarke.
The illustrious No. 1 ranking belongs to Mark Messier. The Mark Messier Leadership Award is presented each year to recognize a player who is a superior leader on his team on and off the ice, so yeah, that makes sense.
The complete NHL.com list is below.
10. Shane Doan
9. Ray Bourque
8. Joe Sakic
7. Sidney Crosby
6. Bob Clarke
5. Nicklas Lidstrom
4. Denis Potvin
3. Jean Beliveau
2. Steve Yzerman
1. Mark Messier