The waiting game is over before it even started. Today, the Rangers named Ryan Callahan the 26th captain in team history. Newly acquired Brad Richards will be given an “A,” while Marc Staal retains the letter given to him from last year.
“Ryan Callahan embodies all the leadership qualities we seek from our Captain,” said Rangers’ GM Glen Sather. “He leads by example with courage and a tireless work ethic on and off the ice, which is why he is so deserving of this honor.”
Callahan, 26, had career highs last season scoring 23 goals and 48 points while playing in just 60 games. He sustained a season-ending injury while blocking a Zdeno Chara slap shot which broke his ankle in one of the final games of the season.
“It’s a privilege and an honor to wear the ‘C,’ but how I am going to approach it is the same as when I wore an ‘A,'” Callahan said. “With things on the ice and off the ice, I feel there’s a reason I got the ‘A,’ and I am going to continue that now with the ‘C.'”
There were some questions leading up to the decision as to whether head coach John Tortorella would give the captaincy to Richards, whom he coached in Tampa Bay. “Cally has the respect of his teammates, the respect of his coaches, and the respect of the organization,” Tortorella said. “He does it the right way on the ice, and he does it the right way off the ice. And he has matured into this. He fits [the captaincy].”
Richards appears to have no problem with the decision. “It’s very easy to have [Callahan] as your leader,” he said. “You just see the way he plays. And I’m just getting to know him, but I’ve been told what kind of guy he is. And Marc [Staal] is a great guy, too. He’s a really good guy, and another warrior just like Cally. They are the young core, and will be here a long time. I’m just here to help them out.”
Really great to see Callahan get the captaincy. Nothing against Richards, but no one deserves the honor on the team more than Callahan. In all honesty, I would not have minded seeing Dubinsky get a letter over Richards or Staal, but Tortorella is really high on Brad.
Very surprised to see the news come so early, before training camp even starts. I’m curious to know who made the ultimate decision, Tortorella or Sather.
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