The lineage runs up and down the list of hockey royalty. Bill Cook, Andy Bathgate, Harry Howell, Mark Messier, Brian Leetch, Jaromir Jagr and more. And now, add Ryan Callahan to the column of Rangers captains in the 86-year history of the franchise.
When he learned of the C on Friday: “I felt honored," Callahan said, "and like I said previously, privileged to be a captain, especially of such a historic organization. Obviously, I called my parents and let them know and they were thrilled too. I’m not going to try to let this get to me too much. I took a day or two and was excited about it. Now it’s business and move on toward camp.”
“I’m going to approach it the same as wearing an ‘A.’ The things I do on the ice and off the ice; there’s a reason I feel I got the ‘A’ and I’ve continued on, and now with the ‘C.’ Obviously, there comes with it a little more of a leadership role and some more responsibilities, but at the same time, I have to continue to do what I do and not let a letter on my sweater affect my game or how I approach a game.”
"I’m the kind of guy who goes about my business and not try to think about things that are out of my control too much. Through my career, guys like (Chris Drury), or even when I first got here, (Jaromir) Jagr, I look up to them and watch them, and see how they act on and off the ice. Especially Drury, I think he was a big part of the player I’ve become and part of the reason why I guess I am a leader today.”
“I started from draft pick and doing the prospect camp, and Traverse City, all of that, and now looking back on all that, being named captain, it’s a little bit of a surreal feeling, but at the same time, it’s nice that my hard work and dedication to the game has kind of paid off here.”
"(Torts) just said, ‘I don’t expect anything different. I expect you to do what you do.’ Obviously there’s a little more responsibility, but he said, you know, you’re the captain for a reason and just continue to lead the way you do and play the way you do.”
Brad Richards "seems like a tremendous guy. He’s a winner, and there’s things I need to learn from him too. He’s won a Stanley Cup and been through it. I think we’re all going to work together. There’s guys in this room that don’t have letters that are leaders too. We have a really good leadership group in here, and I’m going to lean on them, they’re going to lean on me, and it’s going to be a fun ride, I think.”
"I think if I need to be vocal, I can be. I don’t mind it at all. It’s not something I’m uncomfortable with, by any means. If something needs to be said, it will be.”