There seemed to be no doubt in the Rangers organization when it came time to pick a new leader. Sure, coach John Tortorella won a Stanley Cup with newly signed center Brad Richards in Tampa Bay – but that was with Richards as one of the best players, not the captain.
Ryan Callahan is the new captain of the Rangers, a decision that is getting wide praise from seemingly everyone around hockey. At 26 years old, Callahan is a veteran in the league, and he is willing to stand up after losses and talk – much like ex-captain Chris Drury.
“Ryan Callahan embodies all the leadership qualities we seek from our captain,” general manager Glen Sather said. “He leads by example with courage and a tireless work ethic on and off the ice, which is why he is so deserving of this honor.”
Richards is probably the most talented player New York has, and defenseman Marc Staal was an All-Star last season. Both of those guys will be alternate captains, a fine fit for very good players not needing the extra responsibilities.
Much like Dave Andreychuk, who was Tortorella’s captain with the Lightning, Callahan is a gritty center who kills penatlies in addition to being a gifted offensive player. Callahan is much younger, but seems to embrace the attitude of an older player.