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Rick Nash The Next Captain

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” It is time for a new generation of leadership, to cope with new problems and new opportunities” John F Kennedy
No, Rick Nash hasn’t been named captain of the New York Rangers and likely wont be. He is technically part of the core of the team but he hasn’t received the backing of the fan base to date. I’m not sure how the organization feels about Rick Nash internally. Most notably the coaching staff and to a degree the managerial staff.  Before we get into that though, I understand there’s a lot of fans that feel Ryan McDonagh is the heir apparent to wear the captaincy. I can see why Ryan McDonagh would be the popular choice for captain of the New York Rangers. He’s a leader on the ice and has only gotten better every year since entering the National Hockey League. He had a breakout year this past season. There’s no telling how good he can be in a couple of seasons or even next year. One could also make a point that he’s earned it with the all the different roles he plays and the difficult minutes he plays every single night and  you’d certainly be right. One of the reasons I’d choose Rick Nash over Ryan McDonagh is the latter will play the way he does, as much as he does no matter what letter is on his jersey or if there is even one at all. He’s a fixture on the New York Rangers top defense pair and a part of the teams core. Rick Nash The New York Rangers Next Captain vote below!

Why should Rick Nash be the captain of the NY Rangers?

When Rick Nash was in Columbus, much of his time there as the captain, he led as a captain by example on the ice.  He’s not a loud, inspiring type of player or person, he’s a quiet guy that rarely displays any vehemence. The New York Rangers have plenty of veteran leadership and emotional players in the locker room. They need a scoring leader on the ice and a captain. Rick Nash takes two birds with one stone. If Rick Nash were to wear the letter “C” on his jersey, he could get back to the forty goal seventy point player we traded for. Making him the captain of the New York Rangers is best for the team, and Rick Nash. It’s no slight to Ryan McDonagh in any way, shape, or form. Ryan McDonagh would make a great captain, he’s so cerebral. Is Ryan McDonagh going to score seventy points and lead the team in goals and points? Not likely in the time frame the Rangers have to win a Stanley Cup. It would be best for the teams offense if they make Rick Nash the Captain and make Ryan McDonagh an Assistant Captain since one of his predecessors, Brad Richards released on Friday to clear needed cap space with the New York Rangers second and final Compliance Buyout.

New York Rangers Next Captain, Rick Nash

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Rick Nash Played this year, yet there was something missing from his game.

For a big trade acquisition, many of which don’t work out with the new team. Rick Nash was nothing short of amazing in his first season under the bright lights of Broadway. At least during the regular season. His statistics were right where his career average is. This year he was streaky. He scored a lot of his goals during eight to ten game hot streaks. Why the lull in performance for large stretches of games? While Rick Nash was in Columbus, he played mostly on the left side making a living in front of the net. With the New York Rangers he’s been mainly a Right Wing due to the lack of depth on the right side, two to be exact. In the 1-2-2 that Alain Vigneault employs one forechecker goes in deep after the puck. On the top line that is usually Chris Kreider‘s job as the first man in deep and either beat the defense to the puck or create a turnover. With Chris Kreider‘s speed and skating ability he’s pretty good at it however, Moving Rick Nash to the Left Wing would help him get into more comfortable shooting areas along the left side post where he’s paid rent in his ten year career. Except in New York where he’s on his off wing as a lefty on the Right-Wing. As a Left-Wing he would be the first guy engaging the defense on the 1-2-2 forecheck. Giving him more time with the puck and make him more engaged as a player on the ice, even get some more push back out of him. If he’s still on the same line as Derek Stepan next yearRick Nash would be on Derek Stepan‘s forehand for a pass making setup plays much easier between the two. Having Rick Nash more engaged in the attack by making him captain would only benefit the New York Rangers. His 10.1% shooting percentage is right with his career average, what if he was on forty goal pace last year and had a monster playoffs?  If not for the seventeen game absence, he would have broken thirty goals this past season for the eighth time in his career. In the last two playoffs though, Rick Nash shot a paltry 2.4% in 2013 playoffs and 3.6% in 2014. That needs to change and the above explanation will help. Rick Nash Advanced Stats | Extra Skater.

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Rick Nash grew as a player in other facets of his game during this years playoffs.

In forty-one career playoff games, Rick Nash has only scored five goals and eighteen points. That isn’t getting it done at $7.8 million dollars a season.

Thirty-seven of those playoff games are with the New York Rangers where he has fifteen points including four goals. This past playoffs Rick Nash played well and he did everything except score goals. He had seven assists. If he had five or seven more goals this would be a moot point. Those statistics you’d see from a third line depth forward, not your best sniper and finisher with ridiculous puck handling skills. We expect more from him on the offensive side of the ice but he gave everything he had in the playoffs in all three zones. Many of the things he did do not show up on the scoreboard but are an essential part of a winning team. In this way Rick Nash grew as a player in this years playoff run. An example of this is regular season hits total of eleven. He had forty-five hits in only twenty-five games playoff games. He did everything he could to help the team win in the playoffs. The core is in place, the stars are there, and the depth and supporting cast is on board. Provided Glen Sather can put his team back together under the upper limit of the salary cap.
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