The Case For Marty St. Louis As Captain
On March 5 of 2014, Glen Sather and the New York Rangers traded away then-captain Ryan Callahan, a 2014 second-round draft pick, and a 2015 first-round pick to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Martin St. Louis and a conditional 2015 second-round pick.
When this news broke, fans and players alike were shell-shocked, as more information rolled out, the entire situation itself got more interesting. It was rumored that Callahan wanted around $5 mill on his next contract, but the Rangers would not give that to him considering how tight they were and still are to the cap, so they dealt him.
At first, this looked like a terrible deal for the Rangers, a 38-year old veteran coming to the team in exchange for a gritty and tough 29-year old? It just didn’t seem to make sense.
But, as the season went on people started to learn that Sather had once again worked his magic. St. Louis became the gas that fueled the Rangers fire, and that rolled into the playoffs.
When the unfortunate happened and Marty’s mother passed away, he became the emotional and physical leader of the team, even though he and nobody else was wearing the “C”. He led the Rangers out of a 3-1 series deficit and into the Stanley Cup Final. He even scored a goal on Mother’s Day.
[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJ0zWOWrww4″][youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bDgRd8zkSE&w=560&h=315][/su_youtube]
Now, as physicals for the team are set to begin tomorrow and training camp itself starts Friday, a captain has yet to be named, however that will all change tomorrow. As head coach Alain Vigneault will name the next captain of the Blueshirts.
All “reports” are indicating that it will be 25-year old defenseman Ryan McDonagh, yet nothing has been confirmed.
McDonagh is certainly a favorite among the fanbase, as his great defensive style and his flair has brought life to New York’s defense, and his chemistry with line partner Dan Girardi has created one of the best shutdown pairs in the league.
Certainly McDonagh would be a good choice for captain, as he leads the team on and off the ice and is surely a great person to be around in the locker room. But, let’s play Devil’s Advocate here, is he REALLY the right choice?
Think about it, a young defenseman who has still yet to hit his peak, has never captained a team before, and has never had the pressure of wearing that patch on his upper left-hand side.
I am not dogging McDonagh by any means, he is a great player with an excellent skill set, but in my mind, St. Louis would be the best choice for the captaincy. He has been in the league for quite a while now and knows what it takes to win after being on a championship team with the Lightning back in 2004. He knows how to lead a team emotionally on and off the ice, after wearing the C with Tampa.
However, in all likelihood, it will probably be McDonagh who gets the nod, and we should be perfectly fine with that being that he has provided so much for the organization in such short time, but a little doubt could come with that decision.
We will all see what happens tomorrow, but let’s hope that whoever does get the C, leads the team with courage and excellence.