Upon meeting the New York media on Friday, new Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault said that — if everything he’s heard is true — Ryan Callahan will remain the Blueshirts’ captain.
Sounds like Vigneault’s been talking to Glen Sather.
On Wednesday, the Rangers’ GM praised Callahan’s ability to play through pain during the 2013 campaign, dealing with a reoccurring shoulder issue over the course of the regular season and playoffs.
“I can’t say we underachieved,” Sather told the New York Post. “Take a look at [Ryan] Callahan, he must have separated his shoulder eight or nine times during the year and he kept playing. Same with [Carl] Hagelin.
“These guys played with [courage].”
Callahan and Hagelin both underwent torn labrum surgeries following playoff elimination, and are expected to miss the first few weeks of next season.
Next season promises to be incredibly interesting for the 28-year-old captain.
He’s worn the “C” for the Rangers since 2011 and often epitomized the heart-and-soul, sacrifice-anything-to-win mentality former head coach John Tortorella loved.
But now, Callahan has a new head coach in Vigneault and is entering the final year of a three-year, $12.825 million deal, set to expire at the end of 2013-14.
Next summer will mark Callahan’s first kick at unrestricted free agency.
The right winger has proven to be a consistent goalscorer — 22, 19, 23, 29 and 16 over the last five seasons — and an extremely versatile player that’s able to kill penalties and block shots with the best of them.
It’ll be interesting to see how his future in the Big Apple plays out.