By Dominic Lancella on July 11, 2014
After reaching the Stanley Cup Final last season, the New York Rangers have started their to-do list before their next campaign. One task that hasn't been decided yet is who their next captain will be? The Rangers' last captain Ryan Callahan was traded last season and the team went with three alternates the rest of the way. Here are five reasons why the next captain should be defenseman Ryan McDonagh.
Saying that somebody’s a “great teammate” seems a little cheesy, but McDonagh certainly has plenty of respect from his entire Rangers team and fits the bill of a guy you want to play with. His confidence on the ice helps raise the confidence of players around him. McDonagh always stands up for his teammates and that’s something that you need from your captain.
In crucial moments, teams need their captain to step up and make plays. McDonagh does that; whether it be getting a big goal or assist, or making an important play on defense. McDonagh is fearless on defense when it comes to blocking shots, something that former Rangers captain Callahan also did very well. When you make clutch plays at big times for your team, it makes the rest of the team play that much harder.
When it comes to choosing a new captain, it’s nice to pick somebody that you know will lead your team for years to come. It doesn’t always happen, but in this case, McDonagh isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. He just completed the first season of a six-year contract and is signed with the Rangers through the 2018-19 season.
The captain needs to be a leader in more than one way, and McDonagh provides that versatility for the Rangers. He’s an emotional leader on and off the ice for New York and it shows. The captain needs to be someone who can talk to the team in the locker room, but also lead by example on the ice. McDonagh does both of those things well.
McDonagh turned 25 earlier this week and is already a top defenseman in the NHL at his young age. Last season his confidence steadily increased and McDonagh has thrived as he’s been given more responsibility. He’s already one of the best and he’s only getting better, so why wouldn’t you want him as your captain? He also proved last season he can play well on any stage, as he played alongside Ryan Suter in the Olympics on USA’s top defensive pair.
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