Ever since the Rangers dealt Ryan Callahan to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for Martin St. Louis in March, the team has been without a captain.
That should change this week according to Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News.
In his post, Leonard suggests Alain Vigneault could name veteran defenseman Ryan McDonagh the franchise’s 27th captain as early as Thursday – that’s when the Rangers’ bench boss is expected to address the media for the first time ahead of training camp.
McDonagh, 25, has spent four seasons with the Rangers scoring 26 goals and 103 points in 246 regular season games.
Originally a first-round pick of the Montreal Canadiens (12th overall 2007), McDonagh was sent to the Rangers as part of a six player trade in June 2009.
“I think I’ve progressed into being a go-to guy, someone teammates can look up to and someone they can count on,” McDonagh told Leonard. “I think guys see I’m willing to do whatever it takes to win… (Captain) is a big responsibility, too. It’s not just about on the ice but how you carry yourself off of it and represent the organization.”
If selected, McDonagh would be the first Rangers defenseman to wear the ‘C’ since Hall of Famer Brian Leetch led New York from 1997-2000.
Other options for the captaincy include alternate captain Marc Staal, but as Leonard points out, he doesn’t have the long term contract, which McDonagh currently does.