According to current President and General Manager, Chris Drury, who coincidentally is a former captain of the team, himself, there will a new captain named during this coming season. The question is who should be the next Rangers captain?
What makes a good captain? Definitely a player with good leadership skills and the ability to help the team offensively. Sometimes being an enforcer makes a good captain. It does not always need to be the flashiest on the ice or the one with the most skill. The Rangers have been without a captain since Ryan McDonagh was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2018. He was the captain for four seasons succeeding Ryan Callahan after his trade to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Currently there appear to be several good candidates on the team. One possible candidate could have been Artemi Panarin, but he does not want the position claiming his lack of speaking English well as a major disadvantage among other things.
Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider could both be good candidates. Since McDonagh’s trade, Zibanejad has 95 goals and 100 assists for a total of 195 pints, which is impressive. During the Covid-shortened season earlier this year, he scored three hat tricks and had two six-point games. In the same time period, Chris Kreider has scored 72 goals and 55 assists for a total of 127 points. Both players respectively are important veterans on the team at this point in their careers.
There is a different angle for who the next captain might be though. The last two captains were named Ryan. There are currently three players named Ryan on the roster: Ryan Lindgren, Ryan Reaves and Ryan Strome.
In three seasons with the team Lindgren only has 90 points, but he’s always there to defend his teammates. He likes to be in the thick of the action and plays a very physical game. He embodies the leave it all on the ice style that fits the leadership role. Ryan Reaves is new to the team following a trade over the summer. While not being much of a scorer, he is more known for his aggressive and physical play and has 937 penalty minutes to show for it. He is also a player who identifies well with fanbases, is seemingly very well liked in his former stops and is willing to do what it takes for his teammates.
In his three seasons with the team, Ryan Strome has 50, goals and 90 assists for a total of 141 points. Since joining the Blueshirts, Strome has found a new gear in his career and become an integral part of the roster. He is also another player who is not afraid to get in the thick of the play and stand up for his teammates. That was especially evident in the Washington Capitals response game last season.
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So the question is, will the Rangers choose a player with scoring ability and veteran presence like Zibanejad or Kreider, or will they continue what may seem like tradition of the two last captains and appoint one with the first name of Ryan?