Gerard Gallant says New York Rangers will have a captain by opening night
New head coach Gerard Gallant met with the media and made a pretty definitive statement.
“I don’t know for sure what’s going to happen, but if I was a betting man, I think we will have a captain on day one” he said.
“Day one of the NHL regular season,” he clarified further. “And it could be before that, we’ll see. If I was a betting man, we’ll have a captain.”
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Gerard Gallant on the next Rangers captain
When asked to expand on what he’s looking for, Gallant went back to his mantra of it being all about the 23 men on the team.
“Captains are important to your team, but 23 guys are more important for me,” he said. “Whoever gets the C on our team isn’t going to be alone. We need everybody to be a leader.”
The new head coach is still getting to know the players, but with the way he talked about having a captain before the start of the season, he probably already has a short list to work with.
Earlier today, I wrote about results of a poll where almost 3000 Rangers fans voted for Chris Kreider to be named the next captain.
Here’s how almost 3000 fans voted:
Gallant presser notes
On style of play: “Let’s be honest, everybody has their systems. It’s about executing, believing in your system and getting the guys to buy in.”
On line combos: “The first couple of (exhibition) games, you will see a lot combinations. The last two or three games you will see a little more of the roster. Lines change all the time.”
On Lafrenière: “He’ll get an opportunity to play on the right side, if he likes it there.”
On Panarin and Zibanejad playing together: “It’s too early. I want to see them but I don’t want one line that’s going to stack up. I think we can put together different line combinations. I’m not set on any one line.”
On Kakko: “He’s a big strong kid. I think he’s going to be a great player for us. Hopefully he takes advantage of his ice time. You’ve got to earn your ice time.”
On Assistants: “Mike Kelly will be doing the PP, and Good Murphy is doing the PK. We will discuss everything as a group. We will have three on the bench for sure.”
On Lundkvist making the team: “He had a great rookie camp. It’s a good opportunity. You got to earn it. His skill and his talent level. His skating is smooth. We see him as a top flight player.”
On Reaves: “He brings that element to your hockey team. He plays a good defensive game. You see how gritty other teams play. I think we needed to add that element to the team.”
On Playoffs: “We expect to make the playoffs and it starts tomorrow. Talk is cheap.”
On getting back into coaching: “I had 18 months off, watched a lot of hockey games but nothing has changed with me. I’m going to try and put the same stuff into this team as I did with teams in the past. We’ve got a lot of talent on this team.”
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