Captain Callahan; alternate Staal … then what?


So word got out last night that the Rangers will name their captains today.

Um, I’d bet the old ranch that Ryan Callahan will be named captain. There’s just no way to justify anybody else, right?

And Marc Staal was named alternate last year and did absolutely nothing to deserve losing his “A” by any stretch of anybody’s  imagination.

So then the question is, who gets the other “A” … Brad Richards? Probably. I mean, he is John Tortorella’s guy. he’s going to carry a ton of responsibility with that contract and the expectations … and from what we’re hearing, he’s a guy who wants the expectations and who wants to be a leader. So, yeah, it’s probably him.

But … based on where this team is, and where it has been going, maybe a better choice would be Brandon Prust. Or Brandon Dubinsky. Or Dan Girardi.

I’ve said it before. If I were Tortorella, I’d go with four alternates, two for home games, two for road games as the 1994 Rangers did. I don’t know if he’d do that, a la Mike Keenan.

If I had to guess, he will go with the traditional one captain, two alternates, and it will be Callahan with the “C” and Staal and Richards with the “A.”

And if it’s anybody other than Callahan with the C, I’d be shocked. And curious to hear the justification for that decision.

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  1. I’d guess Richards too, but Gaborik could be a candidate given his tenure. I’d expect at least one vet to get an A, but it wouldnt do any harm to spread the responsibility and have 2 home and 2 away – maybe Staal & Richards and Girardi & one of Dubi, Prust or Gabby?

  2. I wish that Richards would play a while with the team before giving him an A. It’s not fair to those who have played longer. I think a little chemistry is required to make Richards an alternate. I say let him earn it .

  3. I think you shouldn’t aware letters until after training camp where you see who the natural leaders are…I love Callahan, but if Richards (a con smythe winner) is the one that is naturally leading and looked to for direction, well he’d deserve it then. I guess if Gretzky could come and not get the C, it can be done to anyone…So my vote: Callahan or Richards for C , but if CAllahan gets it, give Dubi the A not Richards, Richards can provide leadership without a letter

  4. What I want to know is who are those kids in the Rangers uniforms playing in Michigan? They can’t be part of the New York Rangers. They pass tape-to-tape. They move around on the power play. They move the puck crisply in the offensive zone. They take shots from the point. They crash the net. They score goals – lots of them. So, who are these imposters?

  5. Oh, and as for who gets the other “A”, what does it really matter? Just because you put a label on a guy doesn’t make him a leader. See Drury, Chris.

    There are plenty of players that are leaders in one way or another without a letter on their sweater. See Prust, Brandon.

  6. I don’t expect much of a surprise in the announcement either, but what has changed to make the announcement come now when Torts said (I think) that nothing would happen until camp?

    So Serena Williams abused another official and showed no remorse at all? Can anyone with a level of intelligence much higher than mine and/or from Boston explain that one?

  7. Good morning, Carp!

    I agree with these wise folks have already said… Cally for Captain, A’s for Staal and Dubi (shocking, right?). Expectations are high enough for Richards already, no need to put even more pressure on the guy. Dubinsky’s worked hard for this team and I think, given the chance, he could step up to meet this responsibility. That said, I won’t be shocked if he doesn’t get it.

  8. And This One Will Last A Lifetime on

    Alex opines in a good direction…1st of all, what’s the rush ? Secondly, we do not know what goes on behind closed doors, 24/7 within the team and who the players truly want as Captain, Thirdly, the whole intensity/importance Carp emphasises is over-rated, over-blown.

    If it’s Cally, fine, if it’s Staal, fine. Personally, I like a Captain that can “throw down” (fight well) on occassion. Therefore, I prefer Dubie over Cally and Staal because when push comes to shove, he can then either back it up, or come to the rescue.

  9. Cross ck

    I agree with you down the line…and how did you like those bullets from outside the blue line right on target….a sight not seen on the Ranger team all last season. Hoy, they were lucky to even put it on goal when they were standing in front of it ( which was rarely).

  10. Steve C – Agree 100 percent. Let Richards lace ’em up without a letter and without the added pressure it brings. That ‘A’ on his jersey is going to get pretty heavy if he doesn’t produce right away. Not that fans would give Dubinsky a break, but probably more of one than if Richards went the first 10 games without a point.

    And this one – because they probably already know who they’re giving the letters to. They probably knew before Richards was even a Ranger. Or at least if they follow Steve’s thinking, which is the most logical line there is. Besides, establish the pecking order immediately. I’m a little surprised they didn’t announce this even earlier.

  11. I dont think Richards deserves a letter before even playin a game, maybe its just me….id understand why he got one and he has shown he can lead or whatnot, but this team belongs to cally dubi and staal….they came up together and are the main part of the core (along wit henrik)….i just feel those 3 deserve it more than anyone….even more than Prust, who also woudnt b a terrible choice for an A either… Brooks said, homegrown leafers for a home

  12. Richards will get the other “A”. Not that I agree with it, but it makes the most sense that he would get it. He was brought in here to lead and help us win and slapping an “A” on his chest just highlights that fact.

  13. UKRanger – Two fights last night. First was the more impressive, when McColgan dropped them after a Stars player took a run at Christian Thomas. McIlrath’s fight was pretty pathetically lopsided. Michelletti was even like ‘someone should really stop this.’ Some kid from the QMHL had the stupidity to engage him and is probably seriously regretting that decision now. Mac can fight, that’s for sure.

  14. Those kids are playing great hockey and they’ve barely practiced together. I hope they take the whole tourny, that would do wonders for there confidence and their development. Starting to look as if the front desk is doing the right job.

  15. I’ve been impressed by a number of players, but I really haven’t noticed how guys like Erixon and McIlrath have played defensively. It may be because the Rangers kids have controlled the puck for long periods of time. What was the 3rd period shots last night? Something like 18-3?

    I wonder how Kreider would have done at this tournament.

  16. >>…but Gaborik could be a candidate given his tenure.

    Not in this lifetime! Gaborik doesn’t have an ounce of leadership in his body.

  17. >>So Serena Williams abused another official and showed no remorse at all?

    Why does she need to show remorse? Did John McEnroe ever show remorse? Do hockey players and coaches show remorse after abusing officials?

  18. Boys in blue were impressive in Mich

    Give Richards the A – dont’ worry about added ‘pre$$ure’

    Cannot wait to see McIlrath against Isles and Flyers…

  19. You know what is _really_ exciting about Football Season starting? The fact that it means “winter is coming” and that means HOCKEY is almost here. My wife pulled out my “hockey watching glasses” last night as a pre-cursor to the season. (I have to have these because I throw them a tremendous amount and break them).

  20. Disn’n want to start day with a sorrow, but…
    Despite everybody’s hope and the best efforts of doctors in its burn unit, the only member of a top Russian hockey team to survive a plane crash died Monday of his injuries in a Moscow Vishnevsky hospital considered one of the best in Russia. What a sad final accord of last sad days.

  21. All the news about who gets the ‘C’ or the ‘A’ on hockey teams is dramatically over emphasized. The rules state three people need to wear letters and so we get three players wearing letters, it’s fairly administrative.

    Let’s face it, probably 75% of the league treats this as a job – they’re going to go about their job no matter who is wearing the ‘C’ or ‘A’. Players who care and who have leadership qualities are going to lead no matter what – case in point, when Lundqvuist and Avery spoke up in a team meeting. Fans and announcers love to point out that this or that guy has a letter but the reality of the role it probably quite different.

    Fans thought Drury sucked as a captain but by all accounts the players and coaches loved him in the locker room. Ovechkin and Crosby are the captains of their team but even if they weren’t, the same expectations would be there. Sure, you get a Messier every once in a while who embodies everything that fans, players, coaches, media want in a captain but that is the exception rather than the rule.

    If I were the coach, I would probably chose Callahan for a lot reasons – he’s a hard worker, he appears more mature than say a Dubinsky, he’s not expensive so he’s likely to be with the organization for a while creating continuity, and I don’t have high expectations for him so he’s unlikely to disappoint inside or outside the locker room.

    At the end the day the pressure is still going to be on Richards and Gaborik to produce and lead. I could easily make a rational argument why Richards should be the captain but if I were handicapping it, I would still give the edge to Callahan.

  22. Devils In Danger Of Bankruptcy After Missed Loan Payment

    “Devils Arena Entertainment is $180 million in debt, the paper reported. The team owes “roughly” $100 million”

    $100 million? I wonder if Kovalchuk can spot some dough to pay the debt. LMFAO!

    Callahan for Captain! No need to wait for camp to see who will emerge as a leader… Tort’s seen enough of both Callahan and Richards to know who is who.

  23. Traverse opens my eyes on two things in general, which pleasantly surprised me – our kids’ speed skating, quick and mostly precise passing and showed early hockey IQ. Besides usual, closely observed suspects: Erixson (great skating and shooting), Bourke (speed and fearless character), Thomas (good hands, skate and diverse technical arsenal), Miller (very persistent and solid), I was impressed by Yogan, who I believe, despite of his few missing in first game, looks like he can develop in to a good power forward type player. I was skeptical about all talks of McIlrath reputation in fighting, considering he dealt with “teenagers” where just a sheer size matters more, but I was wrong, guy definitely knows what he is doing in terms of fight technique (feet positions and sequence of jabs and hand works). All in all, most important, watching tournament live, I have now much more trust in our scouting team – players fit every bit to the characteristics they described before. Kudos to MSG.

  24. >>Devils In Danger Of Bankruptcy After Missed Loan Payment

    I couldn’t help but chortle when I heard that on the radio this morning.

  25. Noah, Associate Assistant Alternative Captain on

    Hoped Dubi would have the other “A” but I have no issues with the decisions.


  26. Congrats to Callahan. I think this is going to be the first captain that every fan will be happy with since the lockout.

  27. Nah, no new post needed. You guys can find all the reaction and quotes over there ——>

    And you can discuss it just as well right here. so go ahead.

  28. Captain Callahan. I feel bad for Dubinsky. I would be pissed i didn’t get an “A” if i were him.

  29. OMG!! Dubi didn’t get a letter!! Fire Torts!!

    Hopefully Dubi will get over it and won’t let this ruin his Euro trip…if he’s pissed that he didn’t get a letter on his chest, he should be even more motivated to have a consistent season!!

  30. I’m okay w/ Dubi not getting the other A…. Here’s why: Has anyone else noticed the kid’s gotten just a bit cocky over the last few years? He needs to be humbled, much like Del Zotto… just not to the extreme obviously. My take is, he’ll perform better without the alternate captaincy because he might feel as if someone pissed in his cheerios….. thoughts?

  31. Just came over my cell phone, text from the NYR stating Cally is our new captain and Staal and Richards are alternates.

    Gotta say…this makes me damn proud to be a Rangers fan. Nothing against Jagr but this will now be, in my eyes, the first TRUE RANGER CAPTAIN since Mess retired. Jags earned it, but he was still only here for a fleeting moment. As for Drury…let’s just forget he was ever here.

    Congrats to Cally. Something tells me he’s got the mental toughness to handle the Captaincy and will elevate his game accordingly.

    As for Dubi not getting a letter, I don’t think it’ll matter all that much. Dubi, Cally, Staal and Hank are the core of this team. Girardi, too.

    Captain Callahan. Sounds like something out of McHale’s Navy. ;-)

  32. I think Richards was brought in here to fill this role. I feel 100% confident with him wearing an “A”.

  33. I’d be much happier right now if Dubinsky got the other A and Richards was added to the rotation later in the season.

  34. n.country_nyrfan on

    Happy to see that Cally is our new Captain, well deserved. And I know Richards is new to the team but he is a veteran presence on a young team, so him getting the other “A” is fine with me.

  35. n.country_nyrfan on

    I also agree with some of the previous posts about our prospects in Travese. They have been flying and great passing!

  36. Doodie Machetto September 12th, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Congrats to Callahan. I think this is going to be the first captain that every fan will be happy with since the lockout.



  37. Blogmama…

    TECHNICALLY, Mess was Captain after Leetch. (’91-’97 – Messier ’97-’00 – Leetch ’00-’04 – Messier) :-)

    And while some like to get on Leetch about his tenure as Captain, I think he was just in a lose-lose situation with Mess being gone and the team floundering thanks to horrific front-office moves.

    I DO think it would have been interesting if Graves had been named Captain after Mess left in ’97.

  38. Looks like I have to burn my Cally heritage jersey from last year because it only has the A.

    Staal was a no brainer, it would be a huge smack in the face to take it away from him after he had it all year.

    Richards, well I suppose we can look at Prospal as a precedent that Torts is willing to give a new Rangers player with whom he’s had a previous connection a leadership role. And he’s going to be a focal point of the Rangers this year (and the next 5-8 years afterwards).

    But we’ve heard all along that you don’t necessarily need a letter to lead. So I don’t know if I’d say that Richards getting the A over Dubinsky is that much of a slight to Dubi.

  39. Looks like I have to burn that “Christensen” jersey I got with a “C” on it in anticipation of his pending Captaincy!

  40. Cally deserves the C. No reason to take the A away from Staal. And with the experience, leadership and relationship with Torts – not surprised with Richards getting the other A over Dubi. My guess is anytime one of the 3 are out of the lineup for some reason, Dubi or Girardi will most likely be wearing an A. Having too many guys deserving the honor is a nice problem to have and certainly speaks highly for the teams character up and down the roster.

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