Highlights from an afternoon conference call with Rangers captain Chris Drury, who held a similar role at Boston University and shared the responsibility with Daniel Briere in Buffalo.
On his leadership style:
"I'm at my best when I'm myself. If any of us try to do too much, we kind of take a step backwards. I'm obviously going to be a little more vocal at times, and certainly have to be a little more accessible to you guys (the media). I'm just going to be myself and that should be good enough.
"If something needs to be said, I'm certainly going to say it. That should be good enough."
On working with assistant captains, Markus Naslund and Scott Gomez:
"I look at it as like we have three [captains]. Obviously Markus was a long-time captain in Vancouver. Scott and I came over together and have been together since Day 1. I'm going to lean heavily on them and hopefully tie it all together. It's a pretty good mix. It's the say Danny and I did it, so it should work well."
On making the adjustment to playing in New York with the Rangers and being ready to handle the captaincy:
"It took me awhile to get going last year. I had a lot of help along the way. Not being the new guy certainly helps in any situation. Knowing Tom and his system a lot better, Glen and his system, and the city, having a year under my belt, should help a lot."
On the team's mood before the first game:
"The trip has gone better than anyone could have ever anticipated. From a camaraderie and a team-building aspect, it's been unbelievable. I think everyone is very excited to get going."
Statement from Rangers president and general manager Glen Sather:
"Chris Drury is a natural leader who possesses all of the qualities and characteristics we desire from our Captain. He has always been known as a clutch performer and a winner. Chris leads by example with his tireless work ethic on and off the ice, and is extremely deserving of this honor."
Posted at 2:37 p.m.
BREAKING NEWS: Drury named Captain
Larry Brooks of the New York Post reported that Chris Drury was named captain, the 25th in Rangers history. Linemates Scott Gomez and Markus Naslund were named associate captains.
Drury is an excellent choice. He comes to play every game and has carried his teams in the clutch time and time again. I'm just interested in knowing if he'll bash sticks and turn over tables should the Rangers ever play with their heads up you know where. I also wonder if he told Petr Prucha to shut up and chill out (see below).
Posted at 2:04 p.m.
The Rangers sent this release a little more than an hour ago after defensemen Brian Fahey and Corey Potter were the last to be sent to Hartford of the AHL:
NEW YORK RANGERS OPENING NIGHT ROSTER:
Goal: Henrik Lundqvist, Steve Valiquette and Miika Wiikman
Defense: Dan Girardi, Dmitri Kalinin, Paul Mara, Wade Redden, Michal Rozsival and Marc Staal
Forwards: Blair Betts, Ryan Callahan, Nigel Dawes, Chris Drury, Brandon Dubinsky, Dan Fritsche, Scott Gomez, Lauri Korpikoski, Markus Naslund, Colton Orr, Petr Prucha, Patrick Rissmiller, Fredrik Sjostrom, Aaron Voros and Nikolai Zherdev
Beginning Saturday in Prague, we'll find out how good this team is, but please be advised that the Rangers won't necessarily win the Stanley Cup if they start 10-0 and they won't necessarily suck if they go winless in their first 10 games. It takes almost an entire season, the dog days of January and February included, to make a full evaluation and that includes any dealing at the trade deadline. Even if the Rangers sneak in as the eighth seed on the season's final day, they'll have just as good a chance of winning as any team. It's never the team that was the best of the season, but the team that peaks at exactly the right time that skates off with the Cup.
Staying in the present, The Journal News' Sam Wineman believes the Rangers have too many interchangable parts. Newsday's
Steve Zipay also witnessed a pouting Petr Prucha take out his frustrations on a TV crew over not being in Saturday's lineup.
This may have something to do with it: Prucha scored 30 goals his rookie season. His next two? 29. Yes, wrist and shoulder injuries limited him to 62 games last year, but can you honestly say he's been an impact player since his 16 power play goals broke Camille Henry's rookie franchise record?
Prucha is a native of Chrudim, Czechoslovakia, so it would have been the easy decision to play him in the opener. But this is not the season to follow your heart. Don't think that Tom Renney's seat will be comfortable if the Rangers stumble in the second round again, or worse, during the season.