Oh Captain, My Captain!
A couple of years ago, I was talking with Rob Woodward during the offseason and I told him that I thought Torey Krug would eventually be a great captain for the Spartan Hockey team. He thought about it and agreed. Now, two years later, I realize that even I underestimated just how good a player, and captain, he would become!
Last night at the CCHA Awards in Detroit, Torey was honored as the CCHA Player of the Year, Offensive Defenseman of the Year (for the second consecutive season!) All CCHA First Team, Co - CCHA Scoring Leader and MSU's Perani Cup winner for earning the most points in the three stars contest. Additionally, The Hobey Baker Award top 10 was announced, and Torey is on that list as well.
He's definitely the Spartan's best player and, if he returns for his Senior season, may wind up setting some records that will never be broken by another defenseman. But the thing that has caught my eye more this year, is the way he's become a leader on the team.
I started following him on Twitter last year. All summer long Torey would tweet about his excitement for the upcoming season. Once school started, the pace picked up. Following the "Judgment Day" team building exercise the guys went through it picked up again. Then through the season it was words of motivation, encouragement and celebration, but the thing I noticed was that he rarely used "I" or "Me". Everything was "We" or "The Boys". Victories and losses were team victories and team losses. That's called being a captain.
Then last night something special happened. Even though the team isn't participating in the CCHA Championships, a busload all went to the Fox Theatre, rather than just the players who were winning awards. Now I've been to the Awards show quite a few times and this NEVER happens. Last night, however, the team was there to celebrate the team accomplishments. Brock Shelgren was honored as the team's Scholar Athlete (a 3.7 GPA in Finance will do that for you) and the TEAM was there to applaud him. Every time Torey went on the stage, he had his own, personal, "slapshots" cheering him on. And when he was announced as the Player of the Year, he got a standing ovation from the TEAM!
And when the evening was over, the congratulatory tweets started coming out. But the tweet that caught my eye, was one from the man of the hour. It read "I have unreal teammates!!! These guys drove an hour and a half both ways to celebrate awards that WE won. All the credit to the boys". Then later this morning there was this "Thanks for all of the congrats. Let it be known my team deserves all the credit. In order to succeed, you must be surrounded by great people".
That's what being a captain is all about!