There were a number of candidates and several players shared the distinction, the letter, during preseason games.
But the Canes' alternate captains have been named and three were chosen. Andrej Sekera will be a permanent alternate captain this season, and Jay Harrison and Ron Hainsey will rotate in wearing an "A" until alternate captain Jordan Staal recovers from his broken leg and is able to rejoin the lineup.
Harrison has been a captain and alternate captain at various levels of hockey and in various tournaments, but never in the NHL.
"To represent the club in a leadership role is a great privilege," Harrison said. "It's an honor I don't take lightly. But at the same time it doesn't really change my role. It doesn't define a leader on a hockey team because they have that designation on their jersey or called on to deal with referees.
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"Being a leader happens behind the scenes. It may reaffirm some of the things I've done and it certainly doesn't change them."
Harrison, 31, is the player who organized the informal workouts before training camp began. Before defenseman Haydn Fleury left camp, returning to the Red Deer Rebels, the first-round draft pick praised Harrison for being a mentor, for offering advice, making him feel comfortable.
"Guys wanting advice generally tend to seek it out," Harrison said. "Guys are independent, as well, and you have to let them learn."
Harrison said one of the duties of being an alternate captain would be in helping players such as Victor Rask and Patrick Brown enjoy Friday night, enjoy their NHL debut against the New York Islanders.
He recalled his first game, both in the NHL with the Toronto Maple Leafs and later his first with the Canes, saying, "What makes those memories so rich and memorable is the fact you had those guys making it special for you. At the same time, we've got a job to do. They know that and we know that. So it's a very cool combination."
Sekera, 28, is more the strong-but-silent type who quietly goes about his business and leads through his work ethic and sustained good play. Hainsey, 33, is the consummate professional in his preparation and play, and like Harrison has been know to drop the gloves and come to the defense of teammates on the ice.
Eric Staal has been the Canes' team captain since January 2010, when the "C" was passed to him from Rod Brind'Amour. While disappointed his brother won't be on the ice for months, Staal said the newly selected alternate captains -- and others in the room -- would step in and be strong, at times forceful.
"We've got quite a few leaders in this room, some older guys who have been around and gone through a lot of experiences," Staal said. "For me to be able to work with them as leaders, it will be good. We've got some marquee guys that are important to our team that don't wear letters, but regardless we've got a lot of guys ready and willing to step up and be counted upon as part of the leadership group in this room."