GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Ryan McDonagh's ascension during his brief career has been nothing short of impressive. Each season it feels like he gets a little bit better, becomes a little more complete as a defenseman.
So what’s next for the 25-year-old?
Perhaps becoming captain of the New York Rangers?
McDonagh says he’s ready to get the nod.
“Absolutely,” McDonagh responded Monday. “This year, with the way my play was escalating, I felt more confident as the year went on. When you’ve been given a lot more responsibility and are able to step up and help our team win a lot of games I think that helps guys believe and rally around you. When you say something in the room, guys follow behind and want to do something better.”
Rangers coach Alain Vigneault has an idea of who he thinks will wear the “C” next season, but he wants to seek the input of a couple players before making a decision.
Other candidates could potentially include fellow blueliners Dan Girardi and Marc Staal. Girardi and Staal served as alternate captains along with Brad Richards after captain Ryan Callahan was traded to Tampa Bay.
Richards, who served as a sort of de facto captain in 2013-14, is expected to be bought out.
McDonagh scored a career-high 14 goals during the regular season and notched a team-high 17 points during the playoffs.
Who do you think the Rangers captain for next season should be? Let us know in the comments section.
• Girardi said he dislocated a finger in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals but had it popped back in.
• Staal will be entering the final year of his contract in 2014-15. He’d love to avoid unrestricted free agency and sign a long-term extension in the offseason, however.
• Enforcer Derek Dorsett said he twisted an ankle in Game 5 and will get it looked at. He hopes a couple weeks of rest will be all he needs to get better.
• Vigneault believes Kevin Klein can be a top-four defenseman, saying that’s what he did in Nashville. If Anton Stralman departs via free agency, it’s likely that Klein would assume his spot next to Staal on the second pairing. Staal, for his part, said he’d love it if Stralman stays.