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The Blueshirts organization couldn't have picked a better representative of what it means to be a leader than the 26th captain in the history of the New York Rangers, Ryan Callahan.
Callahan embodies what it means to be captain, which is no doubt the reason that he has won the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award three times since his tenure with the Rangers.
The award honors a player "who performs above and beyond the call of duty" as quoted from the New York Rangers official website on March 30th, 2012.
This kind of "extra effort" is displayed by Callahan in every single game.
One particular instance was during the end of the 2010-2011 season, when he blocked a shot by Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara causing him to suffer a fracture in his right leg.
The Rangers were desperate to make the playoffs and Callahan proved that he would stop at nothing to help his team attain their goals of getting there.
Putting yourself in the line of fire is one thing, but to do so against the strongest slap shot in the league is bravery at its finest.
According to the New York Rangers official website, his stats this season are as follows:
He "ranks third among NHL forwards in blocked shots (88), ranks sixth overall in hits (269) and is tied for fifth in power play goals (13)". He also "is tied with the franchise record and fourth in the league in game-winning goals (nine)."
Callahan is simply an all-around amazing player and his teammates respect him immensely.
According to the SNY Rangers Blog from February 18th, Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist admirably referred to Callahan's role as captain by stating,
“To me, his leadership comes from the way he plays. The way he sacrifices, it makes it easy for guys to step up for him. If there’s a style, that’s what it is.”
Additionally Rangers defenseman Marc Staal said, “Cally is a watch-what-I-do leader more than a listen-to-what-I-say guy."
I don't believe there is a more admired and revered captain in the league. Callahan is also arguably one of the most clutch players in the league and if leadership like that doesn't make the Rangers a frightening opponent, I'm not really sure what does.