One of the biggest issues surrounding the Rangers (at least among fans) is who will wear the captain “C” on their sweater come October? Andrew Gross at the Bergen Record (N.J.) believes it will come down to Ryan Callahan, Marc Staal and Brad Richards. No real surprises there, as both Callahan and Staal were alternate captains under former captain Chris Drury.
Callahan, 26, is far-and-away the fan’s choice to become captain of this team, but his contract may play against him. Callahan is signed through 2014, a year less than Staal and six few than Richards.
But Gross believes John Tortorella will ultimately choose Richards, with whom he won a Stanley Cup with in 2004 with the Tampa Bay Lightning, based on a quote with Tortorella in June.
“I think those decisions will come about come camp,” Tortorella said. “We’ll have our talks, we’ll see. Maybe our team changes even more this summer, along the way.”
Will Callahan’s contract hurt his bid to the captain next season? It may, but he’s already stated it won’t affect his leadership in the locker room.
Richards isn’t a bad choice by any means, as he’s been a leader on both the Lightning and Dallas Stars. He’ll center the top-line for the foreseeable future, as well as man the power play. He is entering the first season of a long-term contract with a lot of pressure on his shoulders. Being given the “C” could add even more weight, especially taking the letter from a player as beloved as Callahan.
At the end of the day, the leadership in the room is in great hands with a group of players taking charge. Aside from the three mentioned, Brandon Dubinsky, Brian Boyle and, of course, Henrik Lundqvist all play huge roles in terms of leadership on this team.