Does the extension put Mika Zibanejad back in the conversation for New York Rangers captain?

Mika Zibanejad
May 6, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) during the first period against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Mika Zibanejad is officially set to be a member of the New York Rangers for the next 8 seasons. The team announced on Sunday an extension with the 28 year-old center.

“I don’t know if words will ever be enough to describe how I’m feeling right now,” a thrilled Mika said on Instagram. “The feeling of putting on the New York Rangers jersey is the biggest honour and I can’t believe I will get a chance to do that for another 8 years.”

The humbled Swede wanted to thank his brother, who is also his agent for getting the deal done. He thanked his wife, family, friends, and also the Rangers faithful. “We have an amazing team with great players on the ice who are even better people off the ice and I couldn’t be more excited and thankful for that,” he added.

[brid autoplay=”true” video=”879346″ player=”25579″ title=”Spotlight%20Mika%20Zibanejad” duration=”60″ description=”Mika Zibanejad is the New York Rangers number one center. Get to know him.” uploaddate=”2021-10-10″ thumbnailurl=”//” contentUrl=”//″]

Is Mika Zibanejad back in the conversation for Rangers captain?

Now that the uncertainty of his future has been removed, is Zibanejad back in the mix for Rangers captain?

The short and sweet answer should be an easy ‘YES‘. However, the decision may have already been made before the extension was signed.

Last night, the MSG broadcast ran a spot on Mika Zibanejad that clearly shows how his teammates view him as a leader.

“He’s a guy I can learn a lot from,” said Alexis Lafrenière. “To have him as my centerman is a privilege.” This season, the Rangers 1st overall pick from the 2020 Draft is slated to play on a line with him this season.

zibanejad extended
Bruce Bennett/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

“Everyone’s seen what he’s capable of doing,” Jacob Trouba, who is the lead candidate for the C said. “He can take over a game.”

The most ringing endorsement for Mika as possibly the next captain came from longtime linemate and fellow candidate for the captaincy, Chris Kreider.

“He’s a guy who reminds me a lot of Rick Nash,” Kreider stated. “He’s not overly vocal, but he does it all on the ice. He’s going to do whatever it takes to win. He cares about winning more than anyone else. I’ll go to war for that guy.”

Rangers will name a captain soon

The Rangers are going to be naming a captain this season. That’s been made clear by Chris Drury before the start of camp and by Gerard Gallant repeatedly during it.

Chris Kreider garnered a lot of attention with his willingness to get some form of retribution for Ryan Reaves’ injury against the Devils. We know he is certainly in the mix, but Jacob Trouba has been talked about by people as the likely next Rangers captain, including Joe Micheletti during that same broadcast.

“It’s cleary going to be Trouba,” I was told by a source familiar with the team. “I’d be shocked if it was anyone else.”

That was before Mika’s extension and now that it’s done, the decision isn’t as clear cut.

So who will it be? Trouba? Kreider? or the freshly signed Zibanejad? The answer is coming soon.

NHL News: Will Ovechkin play the opener against the Rangers?

Alex Ovechkin is officially day-to-day and is questionable for the season opener against the NYR. Read more.

Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

Mentioned in this article:

More About: