Taking Another Look At Who May Be The Next Rangers Captain

NY Rangers

As the offseason continues on, the Rangers plan going forward seems to be getting clearer. The team just hired David Quinn’s assistant coaches, and RFA’s are starting to reach contract agreements to rejoin the team. As all of this is occurring, the Rangers remain without a captain but, with that said, a new leader will likely be in place relatively soon. As Quinn continues to travel and meet his players, things will begin to pick up on the captaincy speculation. There are several qualified players on the team who haveq a good chance of getting that “C” sewn on their jersey. Let’s take a look.

Mats Zuccarello

Zuccarello seems like one of the more obvious choices to become the new captain. What makes this option interesting, though, is that no one really knows how much longer Zuccarello will be a part of the organization. There were trade rumors surrounding him at the trade deadline, around the draft, and they will likely pop up again at the next trade deadline (if he hasn’t already been traded). The Rangers seem to enjoy trading away their captains, but I don’t see that happening. Since there is a significant chance Zuccarello will be gone in the near future, I don’t believe the Rangers would go ahead and make him their next captain.  

That being said, Zuccarello does have all of the necessary qualities. During his time in New York thus far, he has been a solid and consistent producer. He has shown his willingness to lead the team, whether wearing an “A” or not. He has the gritty, never-quit attitude that solidifies him as good choice for the position, should he be a Blueshirt for a while longer.

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Chris Kreider

One of the more popular candidates to obtain the captaincy, Kreider certainly has what it takes to hold the position. His intensity and relentless playing style will be a great tool for the younger kids to learn from as they develop. Because of this, it is very likely he could be given the leadership role to help teach them. Kreider has been a decently consistent player for the Blueshirts and holds seniority on the team. David Quinn also knows Kreider from the good ole’ days when the two were part of an intense NCAA rivalry.

Kreider has been the center of some controversies during his tenure in New York, which could prove to be an obstacle for him. Controversies like the one stemming from the 2014 Eastern Conference Finals, during which people accused Kreider of being dirty and intentionally injuring Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price. I personally do not believe this will be of much impact going forward in regards to his chances of getting the captaincy.

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Marc Staal

Staal is probably the least likely candidates to hold the position. Even though he holds the most seniority on the team along with Lundqvist, he is not the kind of impact player that a captain needs to be. He has shown a significant amount of inconsistency over the last few years, all while aging on an inflated contract. Staal is a great veteran presence that can play with guys like Neal Pionk, but shouldn’t neccessarily wear the “C”.

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Kevin Shattenkirk

Although it doesn’t seem to make the most sense, I believe Shattenkirk may have the best chance to be given the position. Even though he sat out most of last year with a meniscus tear, he has made known his passion for New York Rangers hockey. He is an intense player on the ice and greatly impacts the play of his team when healthy. He wore an “A” in St. Louis, but is always a leader regardless of if he is wearing the letters or not.

In addition to his leadership qualities, he has the closest relationship to David Quinn out of anyone on the team. Shattenkirk played for Quinn at BU, on the U.S. Developmental Team, and in the AHL. They know each other very well and consider each other great friends. In fact, they are so close that at Shattenkirk’s wedding last week, the groomsmen consisted of several Rangers players…and Coach Quinn. Yes, Shattenkirk’s coach, who he hasn’t played under in years, was a groomsman at his wedding. Should be interesting to see how that storyline plays out.

Overall, I think it could be a toss-up. The majority of the players on this list have good chances to be made the next captain of the New York Rangers. But, much of it depends on the new relationships these players form with Coach Quinn and his first impressions of them. Below is my prediction of how the Blueshirts leadership team may round out.

Captain Kevin Shattenkirk
Alternate Captains Mats Zuccarello Marc Staal Chris Krieder/Jesper Fast

21 thoughts on “Taking Another Look At Who May Be The Next Rangers Captain

  • July 23, 2018 at 7:53 am

    It’s funny b because he said Kreider has a relentless playing style

  • July 23, 2018 at 9:47 am

    I don’t really see a GREAT choice for the Rangers captaincy, since Zucc is skating on thin ice vis-a-vis being traded. He is the obvious choice!! Everything expected of a captain is in Zucc!
    To consider Kreider because of his play is ludicrous!! His LACK of play is his biggest weakness. He is NOT a leader, he has big problems just “leading” himself!
    As far as Shattenkirk is concerned, his body of work for the Rangers is minuscule, at best!
    The one that deserves the captaincy is the one that CAN’T be chosen, HL. He is the de facto leader, that’s for sure!
    I just don’t see what Zucc’s possible trade position has to do with this supposed issue, Any and ALL the players are liable to be traded at any time. And to use that as a reason is nonsense. It’s not as though the Rangers have any compuncture about trading their captain!! It’s common on this team.
    To me it’s a no- brainer, but then again, I’m not privy to what is going on inside the locker room, behind closed doors.

    • July 24, 2018 at 10:27 am

      It’s my opinion and few ever agree with it, but Kreider is a cerebral player. He depends on his natural ability. Like many of the Rangers on this rooster they can’t finish. They don’t practice their shooting skill to reach optimum performance. You can’t expect water from rock headed individuals and former coaching team. Asides without finishing, the centers were pushed hard enough to win face offs. One hint, Henrik practice using your stick. Believe me it will help the holes in the defense if you don’t put it on opposing sticks yourself. Like I said, it’s only my opinion. An opinion no one agrees with.

  • July 23, 2018 at 10:28 am

    Do we have to appoint a captain? I don’t see anyone other than the man in net deserving of the “C” this year but obviously the rules don’t allow it. We have a few guys that can lead but I don’t see a legitimate captain. Where’s our Benn? Where’s our Getzlaf? Where’s our Pavelski? I don’t see it.

  • July 23, 2018 at 10:35 am

    I have NO problem with your position. I would RESPECTFULLY like your reasoning as to what it takes to be a legitimate captain. I have NO problem with you not feeling Zucc is not deserving, but I can’t, for the life of me see what he lacks.
    Again, This is NOT an attempt to discredit or demean you, I am just curious what I have missed about Zucc.

    • July 23, 2018 at 11:02 am

      I left Zuccarello out because of the trade rumors, etc. but he is definitely the ideal candidate on THIS team. I agree with you that in a perfect world it shouldn’t matter but the team has to consider a captain long-term since they are rebuilding and would want someone in that position for the next 2-3 years minimum. I just don’t understand the need to appoint someone, let someone show they deserve it. And right now, if the only players that deserve it are either in net or possibly won’t be with the team next season, why not just leave it vacant? If they appoint Zucc, I would be very happy because no other player deserves it but if they decide not to because he may be moved then I understand it.

  • July 23, 2018 at 10:52 am

    Captain : Chris Kreider
    Alternate Captains :
    Mats Zuccarello & Kevin Shattenkirk

    • July 23, 2018 at 11:51 am

      What has Shattenkirk done in his career to be named as one of the captains in this team? He is a terrible choice and one that would show that it’s same old same old once again at MSG.

    • July 26, 2018 at 12:42 am

      Totally agree with you Dave. Chris Kreider is now 27 and has been with the Rangers for 5 years now and has grown TREMENDOUSLY as a player and a person and I think he will be a MAJOR FORCE on this team for at least another 5 years or longer. So because he has really grown as a player and person and is OUTSPOKEN, ENTHUSIASTIC, PASSIONATE, WELL RESPECTED AND AN EXCELLENT PLAYER OVERALL, I feel that he should be voted Captain since he hopefully will be with the Rangers for quite awhile longer, so I think he is the MOST QUALIFIED NOW.

      Zuccarello is already 31 as of Sept. 1st and may not be with the Rangers past this season, so while he may be a strong candidate as a new Captain, if he is gone by next season, then what do they do? Appoint another Captain after only 1 year? That’s why I would make Matts an Assistant Captain and name a younger player like Kreider as their new Captain going forward.

      • July 26, 2018 at 1:29 am

        And Chris Kreider has really developed his game overall especially in his recent showing in the IIHF MEN’S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS back in May when he was 3rd on the team in points with 10 (4 goals and 6 assists) and was named the Player of the game TWICE including the Bronze medal winning game vs. Canada after he scored 2 goals. He has really become a VERY SOLD 2-WAY PLAYER and his overall game OFFENSIVELY and DEFENSIVELY has greatly improved overall and his Passion and ENTHUIASTIC AND EXCITEMENT FOR PLAYING PROFESSIONAL HOCKEY after experiencing a very serious blood clot injury which could’ve ended his Hockey career.

        He is a very CONFIDENT player now and now at 27 and with 6 years experience in the NHL with the Rangers, I feel he is ready now to step into more of a Leadership role —- whether it be either an Asst. Captain or Captain. So I would love to see him made Captain as I think he is a very well respected player on the Rangers and now with so many young players potentially on the roster this season, and his close relationship with Buchnevich and Zibanejad on the Rangers top line hopefully again this season, I think he has earned the added responsibility of a Leadership role on this team starting this season. And would love to see him appointed Captain as he speaks well and is well respected and I feel that he is a GREAT MOTIVATOR ON and OFF THE ICE of the other players on the team.

  • July 23, 2018 at 10:53 am

    I can’t believe you would mention Kreider for a captain with his history or inconsistent play year after year. This guy ticks me off. He has all the natural talent in the world and disappears for games. NO WAY I ever make a player like him a captain!

    • July 23, 2018 at 11:04 am

      Agreed, Kreider is NOT a captain. You would have to persuade me with good evidence to even consider him for an “A”.

    • July 23, 2018 at 12:00 pm

      Don’t worry Kreids won’t ever captain the NYR. The team has a huge say in this and I doubt see them picking him as their next leader. Imo Shatty has a better chance to wear a letter than him. Kreids play has been below the belt, he has done nothing spectacular or displayed any heart like Cally/McD. I wish he had a edge like Avery but that’s also not in him.

      Remember Kreids was on the block to get traded last October-November. I don’t think that idea of trading him goes away, that’s how JT and Stepan have gotten traded. Rumors at first which turns into JG not admitting it than WHAM.

  • July 23, 2018 at 11:49 am

    Naming Shattenkirk as an option to be captain or in any leadership position is absolutely laughable. I don’t care if Quinn was at his wedding, that has ZERO bearing at all.

    Shattenkirk has enough issues in his own zone to be taken seriously in the locker room as a voice of reason. In fact the the only time he was an assistant captain was after the summer he told the hockey world he wanted to play in NY. St Louis then named him assistant captain, ONLY for home games, in an apparent move to increase his trade value. Can we stop overhyping Shattenkirk’s game please. The only reason fans wanted him was because he said the Rangers were his favorite team and he wanted to play in NY. Other than being a power play specialist he is brutal on the ice. What’s the excuse going to be this year when he leads the team in turnovers and goals scored upon?

    The Rangers were criticized for having a lack of leadership all last year. So why are we picking from the same group of players to now be the leaders of this years team? As much as I like Kreider and Zucchini, where was their leadership last year? Stall, are you drunk? Stall couldn’t lead a sheep away from the slaughter house. Shattenkirk, PUHLEEZE! He should be used as trade bait all year and move him at the deadline.

    The Rangers do not need to name anyone captain. Let this young group grew together and gel with the more veteran group have a leader emerge from within the pack. Naming someone who did little last year when the season was on the brink will just be more of the same. Not one time did anyone within the Rangers pool of reports write anything about one player standing up in the locker room. Not one time did we hear the media was delayed entry because the players held a players only meeting. Not one time did we hear anyone other than Hank show anger in their responses.

    I believe any player who had a C or an A stiched to the left of RANGERS should be excluded from the conversation because THEY are responsible for this team having a lack of leadership. Staal might be one of the nicest guys you will ever meet but he makes Brian Leetch look like General Patton. Shattenkirk is an absolute joke to be considered as a leader. Zucc and Kreider were part of the group that lacked leadership. This rebuild is a start of something new and that should include who are the leaders of this team. Don’t name anyone until one emerges from the pack and leads by example on and off the ice. Doesnt mean he has to have the icy stare of Messier or to take over the room with brute force like Mess. That player could be in the mold of Steve Yzerman who lead with his play. Either way the Rangers need someone to stand up and demand accountability from within the walls of the lockeroom and not a great friend of the coach who invited him to his wedding. No disrespect but that has to be one of the weakest reasons why someone should be a captain.

    • July 23, 2018 at 12:18 pm

      Mike, would you mind applying for a position within this dreadful organization so you can talk to someone about this? I couldn’t agree more, why do we NEED to give someone the “C”? Who has gone out and shown they actually deserve it? This team does NOT have a captain…period.

      • July 23, 2018 at 3:01 pm

        Haha, do appreciate the kind words Steve. However I think me yelling “what, he STINKS” at the draft table or on a conference call to discuss a possible trade will be deemed unprofessional.

    • July 23, 2018 at 12:19 pm

      Zucc really doesn’t want it, he’s laid back off the ice. He’s usually kicking it with Hayes in Tribeca area picking up girls or at the Knicks games. Fans from all over have build this narrative of Zucc wanting it because Sam and Joe said so. It’s hilariously scary to see how narratives can brainwash individuals like that. There’ s zero proof in him wanting it or leading on the bench or in the locker room, ZERO proof. This is the time when those narrative Nancy’ s come and tell me the cliche of his play on the ice is a example of leader

      Kreider doesn’t have any dog in him or voice. I hated the guy and it pains me to use him as an example but when king gritz coach Torts doesn’t like your game when you’re built like a created EA player with 99 speed, 99 acceleration and 99 in strength than that should tell you something. Kreider is the cream of crop of narratives in the Ranger world, he’s not much outside these walls except a 2nd liner. I found it interesting how vets in the pass have always hyped up Hayes and JT to be the next leadership group but never him. He’s not even a top 5 player around the net, at this point he gets his points because of the opportunity that he sees on offense, PP, quality line etc. He’s literally the polar opposite of someone like Jamie Benn or Corey Perry.

  • July 23, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    Vegas did very well last year with out a “C”, it’s not necessary. Let three “A” go out each game next year and see where this year goes as far a leadership. that is the most logical.

  • July 23, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    The Kreider I see puts an effort once every 3 games did we forget the series against The Senators where he showed up for the last 20 min players like him are a dime a dozen

  • July 23, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    I think there should not be a captain this year. Especially since I do not see a clear cut leader. I say take the Vegas method and assign three alternates. Alternate possibilities – Shattenkirk, Staal, Zucc. Or, really start thinking about the future. Strip Staal of his A and give it to Sjkei or Vesey.

    Now if Callahan comes back I think he gets an automatic A. He wont be the same player but if if he IS a leader no matter how beat up his body is and that should not be discounted. I still would not go for C though.

    Also, seems we always trade our C’s so maybe if we don’t have one…. 😉 (just kidding)

  • July 24, 2018 at 6:48 am

    No Captain should be appointed. Looks like many coming back, including those getting bridge contracts, to start camp in September. Possibly, no trades would be made until the season starts. Rangers get off to decent start until New Year, when they unload to get the most out of what they feel is expendable. Then the season falls apart and reach top 5 draft territory.

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