So Who Gets the ‘A’?

July 3, 2009, by

With the departures of Scott Gomez and Markus Naslund, the Rangers are left without their two alternate captains from 2008-2009. As the 2009-2010 Rangers roster begins to take shape, who will be taking up the leadership role alongside Chris Drury? What qualifies someone as a leader of the team? Locker room presence? Of course. Handling the media? Definitely. Tenure with the team? Probably. Leading by example? Definitely.

Usually this conversation begins with the longest tenured Ranger. With Blair Betts gone, the longest tenured Ranger is none other than Michael Rozsival, who is entering his fifth season with the team. While most Ranger fans will cringe at the thought of Rozsival with an ‘A’, I actually welcome the idea. I am one of the few who supports Rozsival, granted that contract is a bit much, because he does everything mentioned above. He definitely was more accessible than Scott Gomez last season, and although he is prone to the lapse every now and then, he doesn’t take a shift off. He definitely played through the rehab of his hip this past season, and that shows guts. Playing with a dysfunctional hip is damn near impossible.

It is obvious that Tortorella will be leaning on Rozsival heavily next season, especially on the powerplay (for the love of all that is holy, SHOOT!), and I get the feeling that this season will be a great one for Rosy, matching up to his 07-08 campaign.

But what about the other ‘A’? Following the Torts line of thinking, it will probably go to one of the young guns. I’m guessing one of Staal, Dubinsky or Callahan will get it. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess Dubinsky, who became Torts’ workhorse after taking over, will get the first shot with the other ‘A’.

But Dubinsky is just 23, and entering his third season. If he’s not ready to wear the ‘A’, maybe one of Gaborik or Higgins will be wearing it.

Drury with the ‘C’, and Roszival/Dubinsky with the ‘A’s? I see nothing wrong with this.


  1. zen says:

    If Sather and Torts are continually talking about how there is much more change to come for this Ranger’s team/lineup, then this point about who wears the ‘A’ is moot. Rozsival’s days on this team are probably numbered, if only because Redden is untradeable. The problem is that Rozy has zero killer instinct on the ice and that is what Torts is looking for in his players.

    • Dave says:

      I’m willing to omit the first half of last season because of his hip injury. It’s impossible to play hockey with just one functional hip.

      As for his ability with the Rangers, he’s averaged 10-30-40 in every season except this past season, where he was still 8-22-30. That’s not exactly terrible.

  2. Mike Axisa says:

    While Rozy’s contract is absurd, he’s a quality defenseman. As far as the “A” goes, my money’s on Redden and Rozsival.

  3. MaddMatt says:

    I was thinking about this the other day myself actually…

    I’d like Rozsival to get one, and then Dubi or Cally, they are both energy guys who just seem to work hardest on the team.

    Hey, why not give em both an “A”?

    What, no Sean Avery nominations?

    • Dave says:

      You can’t give both youngins ‘A’s, I think there has to be some kind of continuity, hence Rozsival.

      Avery….well, yea. No.

  4. Stas says:

    I gotta agree with you about Rozsival…they guy is always getting banged up but he’s always hopping back over the boards…not his fault sather gave him a stupid contract…definitely prefer him over redden

  5. Mike A. says:

    “That would be like making ARod the captain of the Yankees.”

    Except A-Rod’s actually good.

  6. John says:

    Rozsival will not get it!!! I am a die hard rangers fan but i hate rozsival he has no leadership ability and is the most overrated defenseman in the league. He is uncoordinated as hell and i dont know where his over rating came from but the rangers need to ship him out.

    As far as the A’s go i think Callahan and Dubinsky should wear them. The Rangers are moving foward with them as their leader, so why not. They are both young, but have the leadership ability that it takes and both play like veterans. Redden is not an option after spending one year and most of all his inconsistant play. I feel that the only other options are Marc staal, but if its youngsters cally and dubi are getting them first and Gaborik only because he is a superstar in the nhl and that would be the rangers way of saying he is our guy and who we are going to lean on, but i feel as a fan and a realist that cally and dubi makes all the sense in the world