Who will be the next New York Rangers captain?

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For the remainder of the 2017-18 season, the New York Rangers will most likely be without a captain, and will be using three alternates instead. The past two captains, Ryan Callahan and Ryan McDonagh have been shipped off to the same team, the Tampa Bay Lightning. Now the search begins for the next New York Rangers captain.

Three names jump out to me instantly, and these three guys have been the leaders of this team. Who will be given the patch to start the 2018 season is still very much up in the air, but lets see who the candidates should be.

Mats Zuccarello

The smallest and hardest working player that the Rangers have, shades of Ryan Callahan and his toughness jump out to me right away. Zuccarello plays with intensity and passion, certainly none of which that fits his physique.

Daniel spoke on his take of why he should be named the next Rangers captain here:

Zuccarello is one of the few remaining Rangers of their Stanley Cup Final year in 2013-14, and has contributed mightily each season. He has devoted his body to the Rangers, and has given fans more and more reasons to celebrate every night.

This season hasn’t been the best we have seen from Zucc, but with a rebuilding team, this could change. His leadership and experience will be vital to a growing team, and a growing team that is building from the ground up.

He deserves the “C” for his captivating performances and selfless leadership he has portrayed over his eight year career with the Blueshirts.

Chris Kreider

This one may be a bit far-fetched, but hear me out. Kreider has strung together a debately solid season, despite missing a good chunk from injury.

If he had stayed healthy, he would have certainly eclipsed a 50 point season, may have even been in the 60’s. He currently has 32 points in 48 games played. He has been a presence all over the ice this season and has shown great ability to dish the puck.

Kreider could definitely be a possible candidate for the “C”. He has proven time and time again that he can be a lethal player, and one of the top power forwards in the league.

Henrik Lundqvist

I understand that a goaltender cannot be given role of Captain, but there are some exceptions. Lundqvist can be given the captaincy, but will not be the on-ice captain. That job goes to another player to discuss with referees and coaches during play. For the on-ice captain position, one of the two above should be candidates for it.

Roberto Luongo is an example of this as he was the captain of the Vancouver Canucks from 2009 through 2011. Willie Mitchell instead was the on-ice captain for the Canucks those seasons.

Lundqvist has had one of his worst seasons as a ranger, but the defensive core in front of him certainly takes the heat for his mishaps. He is the face of the Rangers franchise, and a valued part of this team. He is signed through 2021, so he will still be apart through this rebuild.

Georgiev is showing excellent promise as a back-up but certainly can’t be trusted with overtaking Lundqvist. The starting goaltender for the foreseeable future will be Henrik Lundqvist.

Giving him the “C” is certainly possible, just for formality, but he won’t exactly be the captain on the ice.  

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