Cook. Coulter. Colville. Howell. Bathgate. Esposito. Park. Messier. Leetch. Jagr.
Just a few of the legendary players that’ve served as New York Ranger captains. Hall of Famers, Hart Trophy winners, franchise icons — essentially what you’d expect from an original six team playing in one of the most prominent cities in the word. Wearing the “C” in New York is a pretty big deal, and carries a certain gravitas.
So who gets that honor now?
The Rangers have been without a captain since Ryan Callahan was traded to Tampa Bay. While the lack of an official captain didn’t seem to create a leadership void — the Blueshirts did go to the Stanley Cup Final, after all — it’s expected a new Ranger will have the third letter of the alphabet sewn onto his jersey to start the 2014-15 campaign.
A few candidates to throw your way:
Ryan McDonagh: Largely assumed to be the captain-in-waiting since Callahan left, McDonagh has never worn a letter for the Rangers but was tabbed as the odds-on favorite by online oddsmaker Bovada to inherit the “C”. The 25-year-old has spent his entire professional career in the Rangers organization and inked an extension last July that runs through 2019.
Dan Girardi: Has served as an alternate captain since the 2011-12 campaign and is often identified as New York’s blood-and-guts/heart-and-soul guy. Also, is one of only two players on the active roster to be signed until 2020 (Henrik Lundqvist is the other).
Marc Staal: The longest-serving member of the leadership group, having served as an alternate captain since 2010. Staal is a pending UFA, however, and that might work against him — especially if contract negotiations don’t go well. New York doesn’t need another Callahan-esque situation on its hands.
Martin St. Louis: One of the few players on the roster to have served as as captain elsewhere, St. Louis is the oldest and most experienced of the Rangers… but, like Staal, he too is an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.
Who’ll get the nod? Vote now…