New York Rangers: GM Chris Drury breaks down team toughness, roster spots and a captain

New York Rangers president and general manager Chris Drury spoke with the media on Thursday discussing different topics which included his view of naming a captain for the upcoming season.

It’s that time of year in New York City.  The weather is getting a little cooler and with fall approaching fans can begin to get excited about the return of New York Rangers hockey.

President and general manager Chris Drury spoke with the media on the day before the start of the club’s development camp which will be held at the team’s training facility in Tarrytown, NY. He touched on many of the topics that have been the focal point of the off-season.

Speaking about some of the acquisitions the team made over the summer Drury told

“I’m certainly excited about the guys we’ve added – from (Sammy) Blais to (Barclay) Goodrow to (Ryan) Reaves to (Patrik) Nemeth,” Drury said on a conference call with reporters as was reported by Vince Mercogliano of “We were looking to have more defined roles within our lineup and trying to give (new head coach Gerard Gallant) as many options as you can to fill those roles. I think we did address a lot of them.

The general manager has been well aware that the team needed to address the physicality of the team. The Tom Wilson incident may have magnified the situation, but Drury saw the writing on the wall last season before he was promoted. He went on to explain why he felt the needed to make these “non-blockbuster deals”

“We’ve talked about trying to do this for a while,” he said. “With all the assets we’ve acquired and adding a lot of skill, we knew at some point we were going to have to surround that skill with some players that had experience, that had size and had some grit, that had won in different places. We were fortunate enough to be able to do that this summer.”

Ryan Reaves

The team acquired Ryan Reaves for the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for a 2022 third-round pick. Drury explained that Reaves has assets that make him a good fit for the team.

“We’re trying to find guys who can fit certain roles. It wasn’t a reaction to one thing or one incident. Truth be told, we tried to get Ryan three years ago when he was a free agent and he chose to stay in Vegas. He’s a player we’ve liked for a long time and thought it was a good opportunity to get him.”

Will the team name a captain in the near future?

The last player to wear the “C” on his sweater was Ryan Mcdonagh.  The Blueshirts have gone over three years since a player has been named captain opting instead to use alternate captains.

The GM wants to give head coach Gerrard Gallant some time to get to know his new team but feels naming a captain is something that will be done.

“It’s an important piece for us moving forward to have a captain,” he said. “But with that said, it has to be the right person. (Gallant) just got to town a little while ago and he’s just getting to know the players, on and off the ice. It has to be our decision, collectively, as an organization. We’ll continue to have discussions and look at different options. With that said, I’m very confident with the guys we have in the room and the leadership we have, and we’ve added. One way or another, I think it’s going to get figured out.”

Who will be named is the question on everyone’s mind.  Mika Zibanejaed has to be considered, but with his contract set to expire at the end of this season and his UFA status the club cannot consider him until they know for sure he will be with the team next season.

Chris Kreider is also another consideration with his contract keeping him in New York for the next several years.  My pick would be defenseman Jacob Trouba and while we are discussing the topic of leadership don’t be too surprised to see Adam Fox get tabbed with an “A” on his jersey in the near future.

The regaining Norris Trophy winner has earned it.

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