Friday, October 3, 2008

Oh Captain, My Captain

I can hear it now:

"Please welcome to the ice...the 25th Captain in Ranger history...#23....CHRIS DRURY!"

According to Larry Brooks of the NY Post here, Chris Drury has been named captain of the New York Rangers by Tom Renney. Scott Gomez and Markus Naslund will serve as the two alternate captains. this isn't really a surprise to anyone but Drury's performance vs Metallurg Magnitogorsk certainly solidified Tom Renney's decision to name Drury the captain. Along with Scott Gomez getting a letter on the sweater, Renney and the Ranger organization has completely moved on from last year's team. This team is now TRULY in the hans of Scott Gomez and Chris Drury. Their big signings more than a year ago foreshadowed this would happen but it is now real.
In Markus Naslund, the Ranger coaching staff has made a very good decision. Naslund served as captain of the Vancouver Canucks for many years and he was certainly considered to get the C. 
But it really doesn't matter what letter, if any, is on the shoulder of players. Renney and the coaches will be expecting leadership to not only come from these new captains but also younger players like Brandon Dubinsky, Marc Staal, and Ryan Callahan. Guys with lower roles such as Blair Betts and Paul Mara will also be relied on adding some leadership for this team whether it is on or off the ice. 
Leadership will be looked to come from almost every facet of the team but having Chris Drury, Scott Gomez, and Markus Naslund at the top of the heap will help facilitate leaders down the chain. Having Nikolai Zherdev, someone who has had problems feeling like a valued member of a team, and Dmitri Kalinin to go up and accept the Victoria Cup was a great way to make these guys feel like they are apart of this team and are important to the success. 
The Rangers also made their final 2 cuts with Corey Potter and Brian Fahey being sent down to Hartford. Both of them had excellent pre seasons and certainly would have made this team if the top 6 hadn't already been set. Either one of them will be the first to be called up if injuries do arise. Miika Wiikman will be the 3rd cut but he is kept on the trip as a precaution. He will be the starting goalie for Hartford for sure. 
Like I mentioned before, our Youcastr episode for today has been cancelled due to a scheduling conflict. We will be back on WVOF on Wednesday and then have a Youcastr show next Thursday to preview opening night next Friday. Make sure you tune into MSG tomorrow and Sunday for the two games in Prague as the Rangers take on the Tampa Bay Lightning. 

Image found on NY Post here

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