With the regular season now just four days away, the New York Rangers are making the final adjustments to their roster for the upcoming 2023-24 campaign. Early today, the Rangers announced which of their players will be wearing letters on their jerseys as the leadership group. With five players wearing the alternate captain’s patch, the Rangers now have six total leaders spread throughout the lineup.
Fox joins the group as the fifth alternate captain
Although not every member of the leadership group will wear the alternate patch each game, there will be five players who rotate the honor. The group remains similar to last season’s, with Barclay Goodrow, Chris Kreider, Artemi Panarin, and Mika Zibanejad being returning members.
Adam Fox is the newest member of the Rangers’ leadership group, as he boosts the core’s number to six. Fox is just 25 years old as he enters his prime years of being a player. He’s been the Rangers’ most reliable defenseman, winning one Norris Trophy and being a finalist another year. Last season, Fox totaled 72 points in 82 games, finishing as the third-highest Rangers point producer. Seeing Fox added to the leadership group is a great sign, as the Rangers will now feature two defensemen wearing letters.
The Rangers now have alternate captaincy depth spread across their entire lineup. Kreider and Zibanejad represent the first line, Panarin the second, and Goodrow the third. Both Kreider and Zibanejad are natural leaders on the Rangers, as both players were top choices for the Rangers’ captaincy. Although the honor was eventually given to Jacob Trouba, they both remain as key leadership pieces.
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Trouba is entering his second season as the Rangers’ captain
Last year, it was announced that Trouba would become the Rangers’ captain after the spot was left open for a few years. He had a decent 2022-23 campaign, notching 30 points in a full 82 games played. Where Trouba excelled the most last year was his physicality, as he set an aggressive tone each time he was on the ice.
Trouba will be entering his second season as the Rangers’ captain this year as he looks to lead the Blueshirts upward after a disappointing conclusion last year. The pressure is high for Trouba, as he is one of the most disliked players in the NHL by other teams.
“So this is our time. We have a lot to prove. I think, to a man, we have the team in here to do it, and I think we all believe that.”Jacob Trouba via NY Post
Despite his decent 2022-23 campaign, Trouba will need to elevate his game in his second year as captain. His problem does not come from his leadership abilities but his on-ice skills. He constantly makes foolish defensive plays and is often the catalyst for opposing goals. With the stakes higher than ever for the Rangers, time will tell if Trouba is able to lift his team to success.