Besides the fact that almost every New York Rangers fan feels center Mika Zibanejad deserves to wear the “C” on his sweater, the team did not name a captain to start the season and that might not be the best option going forward.
The New York Rangers have seen a surge of leadership from center Mika Zibanejad, who has started this season centering a line with Artemi Panarin and Pavel Buchnevich. On opening night, Zibanejad posted a goal and three assists for a total of four points as the Blueshirts picked up a 6-4 victory over the Winnipeg Jets.
He then followed up with a hat trick performance against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday, earning him NHL “First Star of the Week” honors on Monday.
Throughout the the summer, it seemed that Zibanejad was the favorite for the captaincy on Broadway. Everyone seemed to back the move, as he has shown nothing but experience, leadership, and loyalty to the blue and red and their faithful fans.
But on October 2, a report from longtime Rangers’ New York Post beat writer Larry Brooks reported of the team’s intention to leave the captaincy vacant for this season. And already two games into the season, there is a sense of confusion on that front.
There is obvious disappointment among the Blueshirt faithful and there is obvious tension in the air since recent captains Ryan Callahan and Ryan McDonagh were swiftly shipped away — both surprisingly to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
But there are reasons to criticize this choice.