New York Rangers opt to not name a captain after saying they would for months

The New York Rangers have decided that the time isn’t right to name a captain. Instead, the announced today that they will be going with six alternate captains.

Artemi Panarin, Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad, Jacob Trouba, Ryan Strome and Barclay Goodrow are their six alternates. Three will wear the A at home, and three others will wear it on the road. The two newest alternates (Strome and Goodrow) are not likely in the mix for the next captain.

The Rangers are one of six teams in the NHL without a captain. Sabres, who just stripped Jack Eichel of the letter, along with the Coyotes, Senators, Flames, and Blue Jackets are the others.

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Rangers will wait to name a captain

“We’re going the route I took before in my past experience (with Vegas),” Gerard Gallant said today. “Me, and [GM Chris Drury], and the coaches had a lot of discussions over the last three weeks but this is the direction I feel the most comfortable with.”

This was a little bit of a plot twist from the start of training camp. That’s when Gallant went on record to say, “I don’t know for sure what’s going to happen, but if I was a betting man, I think we will have a captain on day one… I was a betting man, we’ll have a captain.”

Today, Gallant assessed his group and really liked the six players that will wear the A for the team. Ultimately, a captain will be named but this was his call.

“I feel very strongly about it,” he said. “I think when we talked to our players this morning, they were in agreement. So it was a good decision by us I think.”

Who will be the next Rangers captain?

Mika Zibanejad contract
Oct 1, 2021; Newark, New Jersey, USA; The New York Rangers celebrate a goal by New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) during the first period of their game against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers are going to be naming a captain this season. That’s been made clear by Chris Drury before the start of camp and by Gerard Gallant repeatedly during it.

Chris Kreider garnered a lot of attention with his willingness to get some form of retribution for Ryan Reaves’ injury against the Devils. We know he is certainly in the mix, but Jacob Trouba has been talked about by people as the likely next Rangers captain, including Joe Micheletti during that same broadcast.

“It’s cleary going to be Trouba,” I was told by a source familiar with the team. “I’d be shocked if it was anyone else.”

That was before Mika’s extension and now that it’s done, the decision isn’t as clear cut.

So who will it be? Trouba? Kreider? or the freshly signed Zibanejad? The answer is coming… we think.