Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Rick Nash The Next Captain


” 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

Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Who do you think Should be the next captain?

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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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Tags: BlueLineStation Captain Nash New York Rangers NHL Offseason Rick Nash Ryan McDonagh

  • Steven Carollo

    Sorry but no. Nash should not even be on this team. He doesn’t even deserve a letter never mind it being a C

    • BT Farley

      Hey bud did you just read the tittle and go straight to the comments section. Read the first paragraph at least. I don’t think Rick Nash will be named captain but what if making him captain and giving him a larger role on the team makes him have a line of 35G-35A-70 points. What if he has 20 points during next years playoffs as captain? I bet you’d change your thinking then. He’s always had the skills but he’s been used here differently than he was in Columbus where he was Captain. Due to the lack of right handed shots up front, many lefties including Nash are forced to fill Right Wing spots. Some are better on their off wing, Rick Nash is not. He belongs on the left side where a chart of all his scoring the last two seasons show most of his goals come from the left side post out.
      Another reason he should be on the left side is in AV’s 1-2-2 forecheck, the LW is usually the first forechecker in deep. He made a living like this in Columbus by being the lead forechecker. Right now Kreider has that job on that line. Hagelin and Pouliot had the task on the two lines below the top three. AV should either move Nash to the LW or send two forecheckers in deep in a 2-1-2 like what Tortarella did. I doubt AV changes his forecheck.
      I understand your frustration with his playoff performance and I noted all that but at $7.8 million we are stuck with Nash. Why not optimize his scoring and effect on the opposition? Sather needs to find a couple top 6 righties. Maybe a right handed Centerman. That is also why the PP failed in the playoffs. All lefties on both units except Stepan. On the PP all forwards play on their off side to make quicker passes and shots but there has to be a 3-2 balance in righties to lefties or vise a versa.

      • Steven Carollo

        Sorry for the late response. I read the article and I understand what you are saying. I am not yelling at you or anything. I just think Nash cannot handle the pressure of being in New York and making him captain I feel will just make that even worse because that adds even more pressure on his shoulders. It was a mistake trading for Nash so now the Rangers just have to grin and bare him and if the opportunity comes to trade him you do it in a heartbeat.

        • BT Farley

          He has a full NMC this season so that’s not gonna happen. My point is two fold here.
          1- In AV’s system the 1-2-2 forecheck he employs makes the LW F1 or the first man in on the forecheck. That was Rick Nash’s role in Columbus. However, he played RW the entire season in NY last year without complaining and in only 62 games played he still led the team in goals. Most of those were scored along the left side post where he should be playing which from the RW if far side. That gives the goalie more time to see the shot and react to it.
          He was always the man in Columbus as captain. He had a good season in 12/13 scoring close to a point per game and he missed 5 games due to concussion or he may have led the team in goals and scoring. I don’t buy that whole NY is too much for him. He’s from Toronto which is a larger hockey market than NY. The only one that is. I’ve seen flashes of brilliance from him but he was out of position playing with another lefty Kreider on his line. If they can get a decent right handed shot on the top line with him he will produce again on the LW where he belongs. Put Kreider down on the 2nd line with MSL and whoever they end up using as the 2nd center. Brassard or if they make a trade for a big center which they need as bad as right handed shots. Right now Stepan is the only righty forward from last years team. With Nash on Stepan’s left a pass to Nash would be on the forehand maximizing the production from those two.
          I don’t care if they make Nash Captain. It would make him be more of a leader on the ice because he’s not vocal, but believe what you like. There’s other veterans for the pep talks between periods. If Sather gets a top line righty to play with Nash and Stepan. They will both be 60 & 70 point players and Nash will get back to 35+goals we expect from him.
          Like I said early in this post, Nash hasn’t got the backing of the fanbase so I don’t expect him to be given the “C” but it would make him play harder. He also had a devastating head injury in the second game of the season last season so it took him a while to feel confident in driving the net again. In the finals he was hands down the best Ranger on the ice. He did everything except score. MSL had that funk when he came here at first. It happens. I expect Nash to have a monster season in 14-15 letter or not but a C would put him back in the top 15 players in the NHL again IMO

          • Steven Carollo

            What if the Rangers get a 1st line lefty center and keep Nash on the right wing? Since center is their biggest weakness I can see that happening more than getting a 1st line RW wouldn’t you think?

          • Puck Luck

            That would be easier to find since most of the league seems to be lefties but the Rangers need righties. Rick Nash also plays better on the left side since he is a LW. Right now Mueller & Stepan are the only righty forwards on the team. We go into next season with 10 lefties in the lineup. The pp won’t work again and it makes it easier to defend when all 3 players on one line are left handed at even strength. They lean towards the guy on his left side at 5 on 5 the pass handcuffs the lefty on the right side. Off wingers are good on the pp because they stand with their backs to the net.

          • 071189

            Corey Hodgson is a right handed 24 yr old center playing for Buffalo.
            Having both Hodgson & Stepan on the power play would offset the
            problem the Rangers have with so many left handed shots

          • Puck Luck

            It also seems unlikely they could afford a top 6 Centerman if they resign Zuc, Brass, and Kreider. That’s going to eat up the rest of the cap space and leave the Rangers with less than a mill as a cushion.

          • Steven Carollo

            Well Brassard and John Moore would be in any deal for a #1 center and both can be easily replaced. Brassard is a 3rd line center and we have guys in the AHL who are 3rd line centers and if you can get a #1 then you can move Stepan to the 2nd line and the Rangers would look more balanced down the middle. Obviously the Rangers would have to give up a pick and prospect as well and have the other team eat some salary and for that I would look to the Hurricanes for Eric Staal. They have shown in the past they are willing to eat salary in trades.

          • BT Farley

            Why Brassard and John Moore? I would keep John Moore over Marc Staal and unless Brassard is really looking for $5.5 million i wouldn’t wanna trade him. I don’t think he would get More than $4.5 in arbitration and that where I think the Rangers are going with him. $5 million is too much for a 3rd line centerman. The contract he was on or his $3.7 million qualifying offer would have kept him around a long time. Marc Staal Makes $4 mil per season and there’s Conner Allen waiting for his shot. He is ready to replace Staal on the second pair. If a deal can’t be struck with Brassard then trade him but he’s the Rangers top scorer the last 2 playoffs combined. You really wanna get rid of a guy like him? A kid that adds a potent 3rd line teams can’t shutdown with their bottom six or bottom pair defenseman and that makes them play their top players more and gives the top 2 lines better matchups. A kid like Brassard on the 3rd line changes the dynamic of the team. I’d Move Staal to clear some space and make a trade from there for a top line right wing.

          • 071189

            Amen to moving Staal; Brock Nelson, a young center with the Islanders, is an idea.
            Hodgson, a right handed center for Buffalo, is an option, but Rangers would have to
            give up some more salary

          • BT Farley

            Joe Thornton wants to come here. He’s huge, maybe one of the biggest Centerman in the NHL. He’s not old per se and has some in the tank so Stepan can play more offensive zone starts. He’s great on D but not good at Faceoffs. Thornton would help there in a big way. Hodgeson is too small and is on a bad contract. I doubt the Islanders would deal with us. Nor do I think Nelson helps us much.

          • 071189

            Eric Staa scored ONE GOAL on the power play for the entire season last year & THREE GOALS on the power play the year before.
            Eric Staal, Richards, & Nash have been on the downside of their careers for years now. Wake up N smell the roses!
            Get Nash to waive his NMC this season & trade him for Staal? Nope, cause Marc Staal has to go as well.

          • BT Farley

            Who said any of that? Because Marc Staal has to go as well? 1st of all a NMC means there is no trading him. No list of teams no waiving it. We’re stuck with him and no team is gonna take on his entire contract after how he played in the playoffs. Although he played great in the finals he didn’t score. That doesn’t mean he can’t score 15 goals and have 25 points during 14/15 playoffs. The Cains ruined that team so Eric Staal is not a bad player or on the downside. They have no defense and no goaltending. There’s only so much loosing one can take before they give up. Eric Staal is one of the hardest in the NHL to get off the puck. I don’t think we’ve seen the best he has to offer in a few years now. On the Rangers he’s a 30 goal 70 point player. He’s a lefty so we wouldn’t need him on the PP. We need righties. All we have is lefties up front aside from Stepan. Now we have Stempniak and the kid Mueller but they aren’t PP material really. Maybe Stempniak can play on the 2nd unit. Nash also needs to play on the left side. It’s the difference between the 12/13 Nash and the 12/13 playoffs Nash.

            Richards would still be in NY if he A- didn’t have 6 more years left on his contract or B-His cap hit was $1.5-$2 mil less per season. He would not have been bought out. Would be captain of the team if he were still here. Without Richards during the 9 game road trip we go 0-10 to start the season and are never in the race for the playoffs. Chasing the rest of the division with the Islanders.

            I think Sather should/will make an attempt to bring Joe Thornton here. He and Rick Nash are great next to each other and Thornton is arguably the best passer in the NHL. Able to score 20 goals with his size alone. He takes the top center spot and Stepan plays 2C and has more time on the PP and the PK. He plays every situation.

          • 071189

            Last time Thornton scored 20 goals was 4 years ago.
            Last year he scored 11 goals, year before 7 goals.
            He’s 35 years old as well.
            In the NHL the hands go 1st, not the legs.
            The time has come & gone for Rangers to take on salaries
            on guys who are on the downside of their careers.
            Nash, Richards, Staal all peaked years ago, be it
            because of age or injuries. In fact, St Louis only scored one
            goal in 19 regular season games with Rangers & was a minus
            5 in the playoffs.. So he will be on a short leash as well.

          • BT Farley

            Eric Staal would be a real good addition but only if we keep Marc Staal. He has a NTC and would’t get traded for his brother I don’t think. I really like Brassard but If we got say a Joe Thornton for him and Moore or Marc Staal to make the salary work. Staal gets $4 mil per. Not signing Brassard would end up saving us $2 mil or so. I would keep John Moore over Staal. Only because of the contract he’s going to want next season. I don’t see it happening and we will be looking to trade him at the deadline anyway. A better deal may come now in the summer. Thornton already said to a San Jose Paper that he would waive his NTC only to come to NY. That would answer a lot of our issues against Boston and LA. Teams that have big Centerman that’re hard on the puck. Conner Allen was one of the last cuts in camp last season. He’s ready to play in place of Marc Staal or Moore moves up with Boyle and we have a good offensive 2nd pair. If we trade Brassard and Staal for Thornton the Sharks would have to include a prospect or a draft pick. We could use a smart trade like that. Thornton would have no problem scoring in the playoffs here with Nash on his left and maybe Kreider on his right. I don’t see Sather paying Staal $6 mil per season to play on the 2nd pair. He’ll price himself out of NY. Might as well trade him now while he has a full year on a contract of value.

  • Pantheon

    At least one forward needs to wear a letter, I say give Nash an A while McD takes the C.

  • PittsRu2

    I always thought you earned the C not got it to inspire you to play like you belong. I did read the article and I disagree philosophically with the rationale. If Nash had lead on the ice and had not disappeared during the playoffs, you might make the case.

    • BT Farley

      You do what’s best for the team. If the “C” makes Nash lead by example on the ice and score
      40 G & 70 points then you make that move. McDonagh will play how he plays with a letter or not. He plays for the crest on his jersey. He deserves recognition with an “A” but there has to be one forward with a letter. Why not Rick Nash! He really hasn’t won over the fanbase so I doubt he gets the “C” like I wrote in the 1st few sentences. What did Ovie do to get the “C” as a 2nd year player and a minus 30? Crosby is the best player in the game but not the best leader on that team. Same with Ovie! Stamkos is the best player not the best leader. Nash was the best player in Columbus as the “Captain” unlike since coming here and just blending in. He needs to be the maquis player offensively.

    • BT Farley

      That’s where you’re wrong. He was one of the Rangers best players in the Finals against LA. The puk luck just wasn’t with him. Pucks hit sticks and went high or wide or hit a teammate and landed in the crease. Nash had no problem beating Quick, the puck just wouldn’t go in. He did everything else during that series. He was hard on the puck he through hits which he usually never does. He likes to play the Off wing but he was better on his side, the left side. He would be the first guy in on the forecheck and have the puck more. Most of his goals come from along the left side post. Check out Sportingcharts.com Look at his goal location the last 3-4 seasons. He also had that concussion last season that maybe rattled him a bit. That’ll go away this season and he should be motivated. I wrote that I don’t think he will be made captain. He doesn’t have the fanbase behind him but making him captain would be best for him and the NY Rangers. Mac will play the way he does no matter what letter he has or doesn’t have. The Rangers need a 40 goal guy and he’s the closest thing to it.

  • 071189

    Eleven hits for last season? Matt Martin had 12 hits in one game last season

    • BT Farley

      Look at what he did in the playoffs. It’s in the same paragraph. Something like 9 times that many in a third of the games. In the finals he was their best forward but had some bad breaks in the goal scoring dept. He could have had 5 in the 5 games in that series and the Finals go different.

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