With Naslund retired, who gets the "A"?

So this morning Rob talked about the Rangers Captain, now it's time to talk about the Alternates. With the retirement of Markus Naslund, the Rangers have an "A" up for grabs; let's take a look at some of the candidates:

Marc Staal:

You could make a case for Staal to grab one of the A's, he is young, and on his way to becoming the Rangers top defensemen, if he isn't already. The Rangers Captains and Alternates were all forwards in 2008-09, Staal would be a good choice if they wanted to give it to a defensemen. His youth would really be the only question here. Rangers don't typically hand the letters to 22 year olds.

Ryan Callahan:

As a player Callahan made great strides this year, and I feel his best is yet to come. I've already got Callie penciled in as the future Captain of the Rangers, now would be a good a time as any to hand him the A. He is the future of the franchise. I think he just needs to become a little more comfortable at being a leader on the ice. He's not far off.

Brandon Dubinsky:

Dubi is everything you want in a Captain or Alternate. He's the first one to join the scrum to defend a teammate or his goaltender, and he brings it on every shift. His game is steadily improving as well; both he and Callahan seemed to thrive in John Tortorella's system. I think Callie and Dubi go together as "C" and "A" like Messier and Graves.

Sean Avery:

Well, why not? If you want to make a bold statement, here it is. Arguably the most hated player in the NHL as your alternate captain. The upside would be that Avery leads by example. The downside would be that Avery leads by example. The fun part would be that I think we all know that love him or hate him, the "A" would have double meaning for Avery.

Blair Betts:

I think we all agree we love Blair Betts and what he does for the Rangers, but unfortunately you can't give the "A" to a guy that plays 8 minutes a game, less if the Rangers are staying out of the box.

 

In case you were wondering and didn't know: goalies cannot be captains or alternates in the NHL, it's against the rules. I did a little research as to why, and came up with a hundred different reasons and theories. The Canucks did name goaltender Roberto Luongo as Captain, but he cannot wear the "C" on his jersey, and one of the 'Nucks alternates handles the discussions with the referees.

NHL Rule 6.1:

No playing Coach or playing Manager or goalkeeper shall be permitted to act as Captain or Alternate Captain.

Now obviously the above is subject to change based on free agents who may come and go, and trades that may happen. But based on the Rangers current roster, who would you give the "A" to?

One final note: Rob wanted to write this article and I stole it from him. I've been knocked on my arse the last few days with a sinus infection, and needed to get back in the swing of things. Rob was nice enough to let me take this one off his hands, thanks Rob.

Jim

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