With the rest of the 2019-2020 season uncertain, an important question looms over the New York Rangers locker room. Who will be the team’s next captain?
The entire sports world may currently be on hold, leaving the NHL season at a standstill. But there is still one discussion that has not lost any momentum among New York Rangers fans: the team’s vacant captain position.
It’s not an easy job because of New York’s place as the media hub of the United States. Even so, there have been some great players who have had the honor of being the Rangers captain. Men such as Bill Cook, Harry Howell, Andy Bathgate, and Phil Esposito, to name a few. Mark Messier was so good at being the captain, the NHL now gives out an annual award for leadership in his name.
As of this writing, the Rangers are the youngest team in the league. They are also right in the middle of a complete organizational overhaul. Just before the season was halted by COVID-19 they were in a tight race for a wild card spot. The Blueshirts surpassed many fan’s expectations for the season. Even more impressive, they have done so with a huge lingering question about the team’s leadership.
Since the Rangers traded away their most recent captain, Ryan McDonagh, to Tampa Bay in 2018, the Blueshirts have opted to rotate a set of alternates of various roles throughout the lineup. The 2019-20 season has seen Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad, Marc Staal, and Jesper Fast wearing the “A” on the top left of their jerseys. Also, consider that it’s a temporary situation because there is a good chance that both Staal and Fast may not be with the team next season
However, with the team’s bright future just over the horizon, it is time for the organization to decide which player will be the one to lead them toward it. Here are my top three candidates for the job and the all-important “C” on their sweater, as of now.