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Rangers Analysis: Chris Drury should be the captain

I really wanted to hold off on this but as the season continues I realize that I can't, and no this has nothing to do with the fanpost on it, this has been coming for a long time. Many people here have been auctioning off the idea of removing the "C" from Chris Drury to send a message. This is not a good idea, even though it might seem like one on paper.

For starters the Rangers are already a team with a serious identity crisis. One game they stick up for themselves, for each other, they crash the net, they score big goals, they play solid defense, they defend Henrik Lundqvist and most importantly they win. Players such as Christopher Higgins, Enver Lisin, Artem Anisimov and Sean Avery find ways to hit the back of the net while filing their respective roles for a full 60 minutes.

But far too often this team plays shaky defense (at best), lets Lundqvist get bowled over, can't find a way to score goals and seems inept at winning games no matter who is playing with Marian Gaborik. During these stretches of the season Higgins doesn't seem to know what the net looks like, Avery can't agitate a swarm of bees, Anisimov plays about 5 minutes and the power play usually gives momentum to the opposing squad.

The team has no straight up fighter since Donald Brashear apparently can't fight his way out of a paper bag, and when he actually does fight he is usually injured for the next week or so. Aaron Voros has his on days, but even when he is playing well he only sees 4 minutes of ice time; which makes it hard for him to really "enforce" anything.

And most importantly this team has a leadership crisis that they haven't figured out since Glen Sather pushed Brendan Shanahan out the door two years ago. The Rangers simply lack veteran leadership. And let's not beat around the bush here many of the hatred that is aimed at Drury is because his production is down. If Drury had 15 goals right now, even if the record was the same, he would not nearly be receiving the same amount of heat.

And what is truly regretful about this particular situation is that Drury leads every game. Drury is among the top players in the NHL in blocked shots. How many players on the Rangers throw themselves--face first--into an opposing slap shot? There is only one other that I can think of and that player is Ryan Callahan (who, by the way, many of you classify as a leader of this team). Drury does everything he can to keep the penalty kill above water, he does everything he can to score goals (even though he isn't) but most importantly he cares. You tell me the last time Drury has taken a shift off? He might be invisible some games, you might not notice him, but he never was a game-breaker and he never was flashy.

Join me after the jump.

Now let's look at the next problem with this proposition. Who are you going to replace him with? Let me make something clear right of the bat, the captains job is not just to be a leader for the hockey team. The captains most important role on the team is being the mediating factor between the coach and the players. Drury has to be the guy that reiterates the coach's feelings to the locker room and the locker rooms feelings to the coach.  

The other role of the captain is to be the mediator between the officials and the team. Captains are the guys who chat to officials during breaks about the way the game is being called, about that shot that hit the post that should be reviewed or about that fight that should have earned an instigator penalty. The captain has a variety of roles aside from being on the ice and playing hockey.

I will only mention Avery here in the replacements since he is really the only name that comes up in the replacement role. Sean Avery would be a horrible captain. Yes, he is a leader in some sense for this team, but his mouth would screw him in this role. Do you really want Avery talking to the officials about missed calls or penalties that should have went the other way? Can you see Avery mediating between John Tortorella and the team? Even if Avery is on his best behavior his reputation precedes him and he simply would not be a good fit.

And the final problem is the message you are sending to this team. Believe it or not this team adores Chris Drury. He sticks up for his teammates, he keeps a cool-headed locker room but most importantly he believes in the New York Rangers. He never has a problem with the coach, he has a "give me the blame before you blame my teammates" attitude and he is always there when players need him. So since he isn't scoring goals on the ice he needs to be removed? Last I checked none of us are in that locker room, and since we don't hear about any problems I would have to assume that there are none.

It would be a devastating blow if Chris Drury were no longer the captain of this team. And with all of the confusion going on with the Rangers why would Tortorella want to add to that? He has enough problems as it it. And trust me, removing the "C" from Chris Drury wouldn't help matters.