Maine Hockey Journal

Bolduc named Pirates captain, again

Alex Bolduc has been named captain of the Pirates for the 2014-'15 season. (Photo by Michael McSweeney/Portland Pirates).

Alex Bolduc has been named captain of the Pirates for the 2014-’15 season. (Photo by Michael McSweeney/Portland Pirates).

PORTLAND – What’s old is new once again.

GM/Head Coach Ray Edwards has named Alexandre Bolduc as the captain of the Portland Pirates for the 2014-2015 season.

Edwards also named Andrew Campbell, Dylan Reese, Jordan Szwarz and Brandon Gormley as team assistant captains for the season.

“I told the group that probably four or five other guys could have easily been in that group,” Edwards said. “I spoke to those four or five guys about why those players were chosen and they were great about it. We have a really good leadership in addition to those five guys.”

Edwards said his plan will be to have two of the players as an assistant captain at home and two will wear the ‘A’ on the road.

Bolduc becomes the first returnee captain in franchise history. The Montreal, QC native signed with the Pirates’ NHL parent club, Arizona Coyotes, on July 1st after Edwards identified him as a key free agent acquisition over the summer.

Bolduc previously played for the Pirates for two seasons, joining the team in 2011. His first season was an abbreviated stint after missing nearly two-thirds of the year due to his recovery from shoulder surgery. In 2012, Bolduc was named captain, replacing Dean Arsene, who left for Abbottsford, British Columbia.

Edward and Bolduc have built a tight bond that’s last over that time and beyond even as Bolduc left the Pirates after the 2013 season to sign with the St. Louis Blues organization. Bolduc was assigned to their minor league affiliate in Chicago where appeared in 59 games.

Edwards was very interested in bringing Bolduc back and had discussions with Coyotes’ coach Dave Tippett about the 29-year-old forward.

“He and I have a really good relationship,” he said. “He’s a guy that always feels he can say what’s on his mind. He’s a really competitive guy. He’s bigger guy. He gives us size down the middle, but also gives the organization size down the middle. I talked to Tippett about two or three guys we’d target and we agreed he’d be at the top of the list.”

Admittedly, however, Edwards said following the 2012-13 season he relied too much on Bolduc and not enough on the rest of the team. Several players from that team are returning this season and are expected to have an impact in the on-ice success.”

“Part of it was (Bolduc) and I were creating a relationship. He wanted to be out there and I wanted him out there so I threw him out there every time because I trusted him. Now, there are going to be times that I’m going to have to trust other players. He’ll still be an important part of our roster. He’s our captain after all, but we have player like Gaudet, who is a young player, but played an overage year, that will put into situations. I have other guys that have matured that I can trust now in addition to (Bolduc).”

Bolduc replaces Jordan Szwarz, who served as team captain last season. Szwarz will wear an ‘A’ this season and be one of several players on the team’s leadership council. Edwards said that should Bolduc earn a promotion to Phoenix, no one else will be named captain; instead he’ll assign three players as assistant captains.

The Pirates open their season Saturday night against the Providence Bruins on home ice at the newly-renovated Cross Insurance Arena.

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