Ryan Callahan, whose work ethic and talent is undeniable, was named as the Rangers' 26th captain on Monday. He is the first home-grown (born in Rochester, drafted by Rangers and came through the system) captain since Brian Leetch.
Callahan, 26, succeeds Chris Drury, who retired this summer. The right wing, who wore an "A" for two seasons, signed a new three-year contract worth $12.825 million in July. "It's a privilege. I'll approach it the same way I was wearing the "A". And coach John Tortorella doesn't want him to change a thing.
“We’re a straight-ahead team, a hard-working hockey club, no nonsense---who am I talking about? The hockey club or Cally?,” Tortorella asked. “That’s just the way he is.”
"I spend a lot of time watching the locker room," Tortorella said. "I watch players, how they handle themselves. There’s a lot of intangibles that come into play, and I’ve watched Cally for the time I’ve been here. It's not just scoring the big goal or finishing his checks. It’s how he relates to the players....He's developed into this.”
Marc Staal wore the "A" for the first time last season; Richards, who was acquired as a free agent, signed a $60 million, nine-year contract in July. He played for Tortorella on the Cup champions in Tampa and wore an "A" in Dallas and Tampa.
"Ryan Callahan embodies all the leadership qualities we seek from our Captain," President and GM Glen Sather said in a statement. "He leads by example with courage and a tireless work ethic on and off the ice, which is why he is so deserving of this honor."