Greetings from the fairways


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.

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  1. I think Drury will be a better captain than Jagr. For all the experience that has left this team recently, they might just be in better shape heading into next season. We all know Jagr could be moody, and his refusal to participate in shootouts (for example) was bad leadership. As long as Malek doesn’t return we should be fine!

  2. Hey Sam…no invite to The Scott Gomez Golf tournament???

    Gordie Howe (NHL Hall of Fame) Detroit Red Wings

    Mark Howe Retired NHL – Philadelphia Flyers

    Marty Howe Retired NHL – Hartford Whalers

    Glenn Sather – G.M. N.Y. Rangers

    Tom Renney – N.Y. Rangers Head Coach

    Scott Gomez – N.Y. Rangers

    Brandon Dubinsky – N.Y. Rangers

    Steve Valiquette – N.Y. Rangers

    Justin Tuck – Super Bowl Champs N.Y. Giants

    Rod Gilbert – Hockey Hall of Fame – N.Y. Rangers

    Jay Pandolfo – New Jersey Devils

    Willie O’Ree – Boston Bruins- First Man of Color in N.H.L.

    Davis Payne – Peoria Riverman Assistant Coach AHL.

    Keith McCambridge – Head Coach – Alaska Aces ECHL

    Brad Lukowich – Tampa Bay Lighting

    James L. Dolan – Chairman; Madison Square Garden

  3. Sam – thanks for the post. Do you think you will miss Jagr more as a fan or a writer???

    I think a great new era in Blueshirt history has begun, finally.

  4. But the intangibles go to Drury…in my book. I know Salty will kill me now.

    I guess we can agree it will be between Drury and Gomer for the C.


    Nah, we made our points… Drury is more of a physical guy between the two. I honestly don’t think either of them are “true” captain material by any means… I’d just personally take Gomez as the lesser of the two evils cause I happen to really like the guy. I don’t imagine Drury having the nerve to do things such as put subtle pressure on an official like Gomez might.

    Regardless I’m pretty sure it will be Drury despite my deepest wishes. He’s a good boy and has a “great reputation”, although Gomez has lifted more Cups than him.

  5. There could be no better choice than Chris Drury as Captain. He leads by example and he’ll do just fine.

  6. Chris Drury will be captain, mainly because he faught for Jagr in pre-season, blocks shots (i.e. ‘teammate’), and got cut in the face in the playoffs. He’s also NOT the wise-ass, the many reasons why Gomez won’t be captain.

    I hope Naslund gets an A though – Actually, I wish Naslund got the C, but that’s unrealistic.

  7. Drury will be the deserved captain of this Rnager team. He embodies what a team leader should be: Steadfast, intelligent, even kielded, gracious and humble. I know alot of people want a show to be put on but it is the captains job to keep things low key. Drury is the man.

  8. My personal opinion is that the captaincy is one of the more overrated things in sports. We have plenty of leaders on this team between Naslund, Redden, Gomez, Drury, and some of the younger guys are stepping into that role as well. The C pretty much just means who can talk to the refs and who can’t (the A is the same thing).

    I don’t think who gets the C is anywhere near as important as who leads inside the locker room. I think just because Mark Messier is trying to make a living off of “how important that C is” makes people think its a huge deal. Either way the leaders in the locker room will be more than one person and I see that as being the older guys that I listed above.

  9. Sam, sorry for the caps in the following post, I can’t seem to get an answer to this question:


    No one seems to know, and in particular I’m curious about Redden & Naslund.

    Would appreciate any info, Sam.


  10. Jonny D- I disagree, I think the “C” is very important because he is the guy that mostly deals with the media, he is the guy that the media will chase for answers and soundbites that they will atrribute to the entire team and the state of the team. If the captain insinuates that the team is in trouble all of the papers will report that the ship is sinking. Therefore, the captain has to be low key, smart and lacking of all headlines, unless it is a purposely made headline. For instance, A-Rod would make a terrible captain.

  11. Thats with the media. Within the locker room, the media doesn’t play a role at all. A good team blocks out the media and doesn’t listen to the good or bad they say.

    You don’t have to be a captain to be a leader. You definately have to be a leader to be captain. Thats why I’m saying its more important we have leaders in the locker room. If the team is only looking at the A’s and the C for support/advice/motivation, then the team is in trouble. Everyone, or at least most of the guys should be looking to lead in their own way, whether that be by example or vocally. Thats one of the keys to winning a Stanley Cup.

  12. “Steadfast, intelligent, even kielded, gracious and humble.”

    A captain can be all of those things, or none of those things. Do Jarome Iginla, Joe Sakic, Mark Messier, Chris Pronger, Markus Naslund, and Nick Lidstrom have all those things in common? Not really. They’re all just determined, hard-working, individuals. They are exemplory in their positions and roles on the ice, and (some of them) off the ice too.

    Jonny, I mostly agree with your assessment – anyone can cause havoc in the media. Anyone, “C” or not, can lead in the locker-room. Hell, look at Shanny the last two years. With Avery gone, the “C” is much less of an issue, Drury will get it but I would JUST as fine if Gomez or Naslund got it too (both doubtful though).

  13. What your saying is a legit point but you can’t minimize the importance of the “C”, nor can you brush off the influence of the New York media. They can literaly make or break a team and you must know how to manipulate them.

    True- With the exception of Messier, who I would argue was in fact all of those things mentioned, none of the aformentioned players ever played in New York. Dealing with the NY media is a hell of alot harder than in Vancouver or Calgary. So to simply brush off the influence is naive. The trick is to never give them an unwanted sound bite. And that is why the “C” is so important.

  14. And to prove my point, look no further than this last season. As Avery ran rough shod all over the NHL and the news it was Jagr everyone continued to turn to for answers and direction. And it was his way of dealing with the media that kept everything under control. You don’t always have to be a rah rah rah guy to be a good captain.

  15. And by the way, which of those players (with the exception of Pronger) is not “Steadfast, intelligent, even kielded, gracious and humble.”

  16. Rmant, I’ll give you that except for the Vancouver/Calgary part. Being a captain of a hockey team anywhere in Canada is more media coverage than the captain of the Rangers. I know we’re all die-hards here and would like to think that the Rangers are a huge deal in the NYC market, but fact is we play second fiddle to all of the baseball, basketball, and football teams. Being the captain of lets say the Toronto Maple Leafs is the equivalent of being the captain of the New York Yankees. The Rangers aren’t close to being that big of a deal in this city.

    BTW, I was just looking at some highlights of some guys like Naslund and Zherdev (and Fritsche if we keep him which I guess we are since hes going to arbitration). We signed a bunch of guys that all go to the slot and crash the net hard. Even Naslund, who still has the skills when put with the right guys, has nice moves but isn’t afraid of crashing the net and going to the slot. Just throw the puck in front and if the rebounds come out, Nazzy, Fritsche, and Nikki put home the rebounds.

  17. Rmant, they all have combinations of those characteristics but some only modest, at times (far from humble), and others far less gracious and “even kieled” on the ice (Messier, Iginla, Pronger). I’m not sure how you’re assessing these player’s intelligence, you mailed them IQ tests?

    Jonny, did you see the “05-06” Naslund Hilights? Scores a couple Forsberg stamp goals. Drives to the crease from the half boards and along the goal line. Dangles, shoots, passes, skates. Nazzy and Zherdev with Gomez should make a very formidable top line.

  18. Why do the posters here speak about the “C” as if we’re dealing with a junior high baseball team? These are professional, adult athletes. Giving or not giving someone a “C” is not going to change them OR their impact on the room in any drastic way. The fact that Shanny didn’t wear the “C” didn’t mean other players didn’t listen to him, or that he practiced more casually. And giving it to Theo Fleury wouldn’t have made him more stable.

    At the pro level, the “C” is given in recognition of continued leadership in some form or another(scoring, heart, etc.), it doesn’t really create leaders. Or so it seems to me.

  19. Chris, I agree entirely. I’m not sure if you were adding to or disagreeing with my point about Shanny. But it seemed that Shanny didn’t need the C in order to lead the team on the ice, in the locker room, in fisticuffs, discussions with the refs and media…he just did it, because he is/was a leader.

  20. I feel Drury might be an Yzerman kind of Captain, the strong, silent type who is respected equally by officials, other players and the fans.

    Gomer surely gets an A and due to his Seniority and the length of his contract Redden.

    Let the new “era” begin!

  21. SeamusORiley on

    I would prefer Gomez over Drury only because Gomez seems quite the extrovert. BOTH know what it takes to win, however.

    Jagr was not a good captain. He had a divided team torn between two styles of play. I think he may have bullied Renney, (even though Sather) so it might be interesting to see how Renney coaches this year. I think we will see a defensive-responsible team, dump and chase, hard work versus playing keep a way with the puck and a captain who leads by example rather than by brooding or not partaking in a shootout.

    It is also interesting to see what becomes of Prucha. There must have been a falling out with Jagr (moved out of his apartment) and/or Renney (ice time greatly reduced after a 30 goal rookie campaign. He either needs a fresh start elsewhere or…this could be his fresh start.

    We are a better team this year.

    any word on Malik? anyone beating down his door with a huge contract yet?

  22. SeamusORiley on

    I also think that Drury DID actually tell Avery to knock off the Broduer bushleague stuff in the playoffs…no matter what was presented to the press.

    Avery’s antics were funny, but bush. Cindy Crosby, with all that talent, still takes dives; apparently not believing that he can win without cheating, diving, head flailing, eyes rolling, and so on. I wonder if he practices in front of a mirror at night…

    staring at himself like that guy in Silence of the Lambs…saying, “I’d …” well, you know what he said.

  23. “I also think that Drury DID actually tell Avery to knock off the Broduer bushleague stuff in the playoffs…no matter what was presented to the press.

    Avery’s antics were funny, but bush. Cindy Crosby, with all that talent, still takes dives; apparently not believing that he can win without cheating, diving, head flailing, eyes rolling, and so on. I wonder if he practices in front of a mirror at night…

    staring at himself like that guy in Silence of the Lambs…saying, “I’d …” well, you know what he said.”

    You could see in the video of the play that Drury said “STICK DOWN”. Thats all he said.

  24. True- I would wonder if you would argue that Hollweg was intelligent in his play? I would point to the infamous boarding call against the Penguins to prove he is not, and that is without sending him an IQ test. To me, that is unintelligent, whereas, Drury would do quite the opposite (like tell bush league Avery to stop acting like a fool). To me that is intelligence, hockey intelligence. Now I know for you it is difficult to see a point like that since you are the self proclaimed hockey expert who is the only one who knows anything on these boards, but I remind you that you are an expert from your living room, and not MSG.

  25. Rmant,

    Hahaha – i don’t have a PC in the living room, but nice try. Where can I find you during the day, the executives suite, office next to Glenn Sather?

    My point was that leaders come in all makes and breeds. There’s no set characteristics necessary. They all lead and inspire their team in different ways, and I don’t even need to send your office the IQ test to know you’re smart enough to agree with that…or do I?

  26. True- I do not nor have in any way acted condescending or as an expert so you would not find me in any suite at MSG. I am just a fan who enjoys reading others opinions and insights. But I play the game as well at a competitive level and have since I was 4. I read your posts and sense that you do not. No one who plays the game could ever be so negative toward this team, so condescending toward other posters and so all around arrogant and blind. Unfortunately, guys like you, though make for controversial posts, ruin a fun, friendly board like this. You may not like to admit but a) you don’t know everything about the Rangers and b) alot of people on this board know a hell of alot more than you give them credit for.

  27. AND by the way, my point was that Drury had those particular attributes and those are terrific attributes for a captain of the New York Rangers, therefore, that would make him a good, qualified captain.

  28. Yeah I heard it on the radio Renney said something about still considering Shanny.

    By the way I called into ESPN and got on the air with Don Lagreca right after the interview!! Sorry I was excited first time on the radio!

  29. Rmant, a puck is more intelligent than Hollweg. that was a bad example. haha. We have a lot of smart guys on the squad. Drury and Gomez are the front runners because they’ve been here longer than the other candidates (which is scary). Nobody is doubting that Drury should be captain, what I and some of the other guys are saying is that true team leaders who don’t wear the C are more important.

  30. Drury will be a solid captain. I’d prefer to give an “A” to someone who has been with the organization for a few years though. Someone who has come up with the Rangers. My nomination is Blair Betts.

  31. Yes, Betts was not a Rangers draft pick, but he had minimal NHL experience before coming to the Rangers.

  32. if only jagr was still here he could hold renneys dick for him cause were gonna b playing like we have our pants down

  33. Doodie Machetto on

    I had suggested Ortmeyer a couple of years ago. But Orty was a pure heart and soul player, and even then, I knew he wasn’t even a blip on the captaincy radar. I thought it would go to Jags, with Kaspar having an outside chance.

  34. Drury sucks, makes too much money, too much money I say,
    Screw Sather, Screw Drury…bad contract…
    but would now make a great captain…

  35. The C goes to Drury and the A’s go to Gomez and Staal. Drury to lead by example. Gomez because he’ll yap to the refs. and Staal because the youth on this team needs to be represented in the team’s leadership.

  36. Hey Rangerfan, what about Dubi? He seems more outgoing then Staal I thought he might make a good future captain and maybe deserve an A.

  37. nevermind it was mats satjan….when you glanced quickly it looked like sundin lol

  38. I think Prucha will be dealt to help with the cap

    do we get a draft pick from Phoenix for LeNeveu leaving. I thought there was something in the initial deal

    I think the stick salute will be gone now

  39. One difference here on the Fritche arbitration hearing is that he going to arbitration as a Blue Jacket, not a Ranger.

    I wonder if the Rangers will sit-in on the hearing, since only his rights have been traded to the Rangers. Really, his new salary is dependent upon what he did on another team. I think the circumstance with Fritche are different than with Avery, who Sather traded for during the season.

    It seems the Rangers have a lot of salary to “shed” before the season opens. Any trades including Prucha, Hollweg, Korpikoski, Betts, Dawes, Orr or Callahan would fetch only draft picks back.

    Let me just say for the record that I am completely against any trade of Colton Orr. Although the “goon” role has almost certainly seen it’s last days in the NHL, you still need a guy that when things get rough in the middle of the season, you have someone who can knock out anyone on the team, and the other team knows it. Guys like Orr you keep around, you need that snarl on your bench.

  40. i think we’ll need another goalie for the Wolfpack with LeVenue leaving so one of our excess forwards might be able to fetch that.

  41. Yes Betts, he’s a solid citizen, in respected by his teammates, works hard, and has come up the Rangers system the right way. People like Dubi, Staal, Cally, and Dawes (who had an “A” in Hartford) are still too young to assume such a role. This would send a good message to the young guys, and this will be Betts’ fifth year in the Rangers organization, that should count for something.

    The stick salute better not leave. That’s the coolest and most original thing ever. It’s special and no other team consistently did it on North American soil. It’s part of Rangers culture now.

  42. We’re under the cap if we have a 23 man roster. Mind you it doesn’t include RFAs but we have a total of 3.793 mil to spend if Voros and Riss were signed for a mil each (reported at 600k with some websites so that number could be a bit more) with just Dawes, Fritsche, and Sjoie to re-sign (Baranka is still under contract but in Russia and Moore will probably be in Hartford again if re-signed).

    The problem is with Jamtin coming over and most likely making the team, we have 24 guys (Hollweg not included in that since he’s definately not staying around). If we roll 6 D then we’d be fine, but thats just not happening. So we’ll have a 7th d-man in either Pock, Potter, or another AHLer, which means a 3rd liner is out. Pretty much if no deals are made, the following guys will be fighting it out for spots on the 3rd line with one dropping to Hartford (all cap numbers according to

    Petr Prucha (1.6 mil cap hit), Patrick Rissmiller (1 mil cap hit), Ryan Callahan (.575 mil cap hit), Dan Fritsche (cap hit to be decided), and Fredrik Sjostrom (cap hit to be decided).

    Mind you its not a def Jamtin will stay here but I don’t think we’d sign him if we didn’t have intentions of not at least giving the guy a shot. I guess we’ll have to wait for training camp to see how things unfold.

  43. There’s no lock Jamtim makes the team; plus don’t rule out guys like Korpo and PA Parenateau and AA. I’d love to see a 3rd line of Cally/Fritcshe or Anisimov and Korpo, that would be a pain to play against.

  44. LI Joe – Good Memory. I DO believe that NYR receives compensation for not resigning LeNevue. But I think the stick salute will stay.

    I wouldn’t be upset with either captain. I think Drury has the edge though. No offense Sam, but the media aspect of the captaincy should be the absolute last thing considered. It IS NY, and it’s a challenge, beacause most writers are just trying to sell papers. Slip up just THIS MUCH, and they tear you apart.

    Frankly, I thought Jagr was HORRIBLE addressing the media. One of the things I’m happiest about Jagr leaving is that I don’t have to hear “I DON’T KNOW, WHAT CAN YOU SAY?” anymore. He NEVER answered the important questions. Just deferred to “I don’t know”.

    Like I said a few days ago, I don’t think Gomer needs the burden. It’s enough pressure to be the #1 Center for the NYR.

  45. Beer me-
    You don’t think Gomer needs the “burden?” Enough pressure? What the hell are they paying him 7mil for?? For 7 mil a year he has to learn to deal with the pressure if that’s what they want from him.

  46. “For 7 mil a year he has to learn to deal with the pressure if that’s what they want from him.”

    That’s the attitude Rmant. That’s actually exactly what the organization should be doing to their players. Maybe we should just put extra pressure on Hank. Maybe Rozy could use some more too. Hell, maybe we can even threaten to take 1/2 their pay if they don’t win the cup!

    Go take a look at the guys making $7mil+ and see how many of them captain their team.

    Go see how many teams pay their captain more than everyone else just to be the captain.

    Go, and take your time, would ya?

  47. Beer me- You have to be the biggest sissy of all time in the real world. That was the wimpiest post I have ever heard. Boo hoo, don’t put pressure on our players they might get upset. I know at my job there is plenty of pressure put on me on a daily basis to earn my salary, at 7 million a year I’m sure Gomer expects it and even welcomes it. That’s what makes him an elite athlete. You need to man up, brother.

  48. “Go take a look at the guys making $7mil+ and see how many of them captain their team.”

    Uh, Crosby, Ovenchkin…

  49. ok, that’s 2 out of 30.

    Haven’t you learned that as soon as you turn the conversation into this personal 3rd grade stuff that you lose ALL credibility?

    Lot’s of people have said that shanny should be, or at least, should HAVE been the captain (which he kinda was). He made next to nothing compared to some of the guys. Was it because Jags made more $ that he was captain?

    Spezza & Heatley both make more than Alfredson in Ott, why is he the captain then?

    SIX players wore the “C” for Buffalo last season, that must make your head explode eh?

    Salary has ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO to do with being the captain.

    Wasn’t it JUST mentioned above how it seemed to not sit well with Leetch? It’s not for everyone, and one’s game CAN suffer from having too much responsibility.

  50. Beer me-
    I never said the captaincy had anything to do with money. I said for the money Gomer gets paid he should be expected to deal with “pressure” and “burden”. Those were your words, not mine. You have attempted to alter my argument (as you do so often with others) so that you could put up a feeble argument to save face, yet you must admit that your opinion was as soft a viewpoint as any put forth on these boards. Let’s not pressure our guys to win?? Are you kidding? And as for credibility, it was you who initiated the personal 3rd grade stuff, I just disagreed with you, so it is your credibility that will be called into question.

  51. I think Gomez would dig it.

    What bothers me is now people are saying “this guy _should_ have had it” and “the leaders don’t need the letters” which +may be true+, but if you’ve got a sliver of sense you understand why Jagr (and other players) get the C. Well, Jagr and his clitorally sensitive ego are GONE. This is a NEW team whether you like it or not. The Captaincy should go to the person most deserving, and stripped as soon as that individual no longer deserves it.

    Again I don’t think either of them are real Captain material, but going by last season I think everyone here would be pretty hard pressed to honestly say Drury’s performance displayed more leadership and desire than Gomez. Honestly.

    I think a lot of people are still caught up in the smoke and mirrors surrounding Drury and where he came from. Quite honestly I’d give the C to Betts over Drury, I think Betts plays past his potential more often than Drury does, and that should be inspiring. Giving Drury the C is rewarding things you’ve done on another team, what kind of message does that send?

  52. “Let’s not pressure our guys to win??”

    Twisting there, no?

    Don’t recall using the word “win”.

    1st you said: “What the hell are they paying him 7mil for??”

    Then: “I never said the captaincy had anything to do with money.”

    You lost me. We have different ideas of what the whole “C” thing entails from top to bottom.
    “You have attempted to alter my argument (as you do so often with others) so that you could put up a feeble argument to save face, yet you must admit that your opinion was as soft a viewpoint as any put forth on these boards.”

    “save face” with you? hahaha

    “soft” what??

    I’m moving on from this insanely irrelavent remarks.

  53. “Giving Drury the C is rewarding things you’ve done on another team, what kind of message does that send?”

    I don’t see anything wrong with it. At all.

    Messier walked onto broadway with the “C”. There was never a question, yet he never played a game for the Rangers.

  54. Whoever said the C is overrated, I wholeheartedly disagree with you!

    Messier willed us the Cup in ’94. Everyone saw his lead and said, “F…I am not letting this guy down.”

    Leetch was one of the greatest Rangers of all-time and one of the worst captains of all time. The team suffered under his leadership. Period.

    Granted the difference between a good captain and a great captain is small, but the difference between an OK captain and a bad captain is HUGE. IMHO.

  55. I hope the stick salute doesn’t go away, the kids Cally, Pru, Dubi, Staal, Girardi, Dawes, Hank have all coem up to the team with the stick salute… I think they will keep up the tradition.

  56. Messier walked onto broadway with the “C”. There was never a question, yet he never played a game for the Rangers


    Completely different situation, and you know it. Messier won 4 cups and then a 5th without Gretzky. Drury is an unproven leader with a bad track record since he won a Cup with that STACKED Colorado team.

  57. Beer me- You should move on, your argument is becoming even weaker. You see, there really are people on the boards that know hockey too. Not just you!

  58. Beer me- Just remember as you make things up and create words for others, the original argument was “pressure” and “burden”. I said what are they paying him 7 million for? Answer: To perform under pressure and carry the burden for the team. I would think that most people here would agree that a player who gets paid 7 million, whether worth it or not, should be expected to perform under extreme pressure and burden. If not, then he, and anyone who believes otherwise is a sissy in my book. One that wants the fame and glory and reward but doesn’t want to earn it. I don’t think Gomer is a sissy, but you…

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