By Shawn Spatz
Florida Panthers Writer
Derek MacKenzie, who donned the “C” last night in the Panthers’ preseason finale at West Point, was officially name captain tonight. Even though many thought Aaron Ekblad might be named captain, especially following the Edmonton Oilers naming Conner McDavid the youngest captain in NHL history, coach Gerard Gallant said he would not let that affect his decision. MacKenzie, fresh off a 2-year extension, has worn the A for the club and sees a lot of his time on the penalty kill and 4th line. Mackenzie led the team’s centers in faceoff percentage, and was among the team leaders for short-handed time on ice, blocked shots, and short handed hits. His leadership and ability to do the dirty work, including occasionally dropping the gloves, gave coach Gerard Gallant the ability to name Mackenzie captain. Jussi Jokinen and Ekblad will be the alternates.