New York Rangers: Is Brad Richards the Next New York Ranger Captain

Brandon GudovitzCorrespondent IIAugust 9, 2011

PHILADELPHIA, PA - FEBRUARY 05:  Brad Richards #91 of the Dallas Stars skates against the Philadelphia Flyers on February 5, 2011 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Flyers defeated the Stars 3-1.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

During the free agency period, it was made apparent that John Tortorella and Brad Richards have a history together.  Brad Richards spent some valuable time under Tortorella in Tampa Bay, ultimately leading them to a Stanley Cup Championship.  Richards also did earn a little extra hardware to place on his mantle, winning the Conn Smythe trophy.  Is this any indication that Brad Richards is the front runner in the Ranger’s captaincy race?

Roughly two months ago, Ryan Callahan seemed to be a sure write in for the Rangers’ captaincy.  Although when asked June 30th, before Richards’ arrival, about the captaincy situation, Coach John Tortorella stated “I think those decisions will come about come camp.  We’ll have our talks, we’ll see.  Maybe our team changes more this summer, along the way”.  That leads us to believe that there might be a bit of a controversy in the works.

As all Blueshirt faithful should remember, the Rangers did pay a huge contract to a sought after free agent and then gave him the “C”.  This Ranger then went on to be known as “the Captain” of New York and delivered a Stanley Cup Championship after a fifty-four year drought. This Ranger went by the name of Mark Messier. His number 11, on January 12, 2006 and was raised to the rafters of Madison Square Garden and is in its rightful place.

As it currently stands, Ryan Callahan, Marc Staal, and Brad Richard’s are the Rangers’ options for the prestigious title.  Even though Ryan Callahan might have earned the captaincy with his play  last year, Richards has been a proven leader every city in which he has played.  All the Rangers fan can really hope for, is for the next captain to bring some of that Messier magic.