The blog is back greenside for a few days, so apologies are in order for the lack of posts.
That said, a quick word on who the Rangers captain will be in 2008-09.
The short answer: I don’t know. Shockingly, they don’t consult me on these matters, but the smart bet is on Chris Drury given his track record, his long-term contract, and the fact that he seems to embody everything that Tom Renney and Co. want out of their captain. If you want me to take it another step further, I would assume Scott Gomez would be an alternate captain while Markus Naslund and Wade Redden will be in contention for the other “A”.
As for Brendan Shanahan, he would be a candidate for the top spot, but at this point, it doesn’t seem like he’ll back in a Blueshirt next season.
What’s worth noting about Drury is that like Jaromir Jagr, he’s not the fire-and-brimstone type; that and while always accommodating and gracious—especially when the tape recorders are off—he doesn’t seem to relish the responsibility of talking to the press.
That might speak to the fact that Drury is very much focused on the task at hand, and I know many of you would say talking to the media should be the least of his priorities. But bear in mind that when it comes to being a captain, dealing with the press is also a way to take pressure off of everyone else. That’s why Joe Torre survived as long as he did as Yankees manager. And let’s be honest, Jagr’s good rapport with the media was one of the reasons so many of us were disappointed to see him go.
If Drury were to be named captain, I wouldn’t expect him to drastically change his style. He is a soft-spoken guy, who cliche or not, prefers to let his play speak for itself. But I would expect him to assume a more prominent role in dealing with the press. It might mean lingering around his locker after losses a little longer; and it might mean doling out credit when things are going right.
You might not think that’s an important part of a captain’s job. But Drury is the consummate team guy. And the more questions he answers, the fewer that might have to be asked of everyone else.