The Rangers' 'A' list has grown extra long for the 2018-19 NHL season.
The Blueshirts announced Wednesday that Chris Kreider, Jesper Fast, Mika Zibanejad, Mats Zuccarello and Marc Staal will serve as alternate captains for the upcoming season.
The new leadership quintet figures to be a collective substitute for the primary captain role. The Rangers' 'C' remains ownerless since last season's trade of ex-captain Ryan McDonagh to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Rangers head coach David Quinn said Zibanejad and Zuccarello will wear the 'A' during home games, while Kreider and Fast will do so on the road. Marc Staal, a longtime Rangers alternate captain, will don the 'A' for the entire season. (Newsday)
While a team with five alternate captains is unusual, it's not unheard of. Last year, the captain-less Arizona Coyotes also tabbed five players to share the 'A,' among them former Ranger Derek Stepan.
The rebuilding Blueshirts open their season Thursday night against the Nashville Predators at Madison Square Garden.
Rangers coach David Quinn explained the decision by saying, "there will be two at home, Zucc and Mika, and Quckie and Kreider on the road and Staal will be an assistant captain for all 82."
On Jesper Fast, "he's a guy that is well respected in the locker room, plays at a high pace, dedicated on and off the ice and maybe not as vocal as an assistant captain or leader but when he speaks, people listen and his play and how he carries himself is a great example in the locker room.