Defenseman Ryan McDonagh is one of the players being mentioned as a possibility to receive the "C" when the New York Rangers name their next captain, something coach Alain Vigneault said will happen at the end of training camp.
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Though McDonagh told Blueshirts United on Saturday he'd welcome the honor, he said he feels leadership doesn't apply only to players who wear a letter.
"I want to be a guy that's looked upon for advice, looked upon for example. I want to try to be as consistent as I can every day and bring a positive approach every day," he said. "I'm always thinking about my teammates, trying to help them get better and get their spirits up and get them motivated.
"We have a lot of great candidates here, and the coaching staff is going to make the right decision. They can't make a wrong decision because this group is so solid. Even if you're not going to be one of the guys with a letter, we need 20 guys to be a leader in their own way. It might be a small part. It might be little things off the ice: cracking jokes, keeping spirits up in the room. I think no matter what happens, this group is going to [have] solid leadership all the way through."
The Rangers made a surprising run to the Stanley Cup Final last spring before losing to the Los Angeles Kings in five games, though three of their four losses came in overtime. McDonagh said the Rangers can't look too far ahead in trying to get back to the Final; rather, he said, it's a day-by-day process.
"We can't think big-picture right off the bat this year. We never did last year," he said. "It's obviously a goal you talk about at the beginning of the year. But you're not bringing it up in daily meetings; you've got to go about your daily business and try to get better."
He said he hasn't forgotten the feeling of getting to the Final and not coming home with the Cup
"The pain sticks with you for a good month or so," he said. "Then it kind of switches over to realizing all the good things that happened, the fun moments. But I don't think I'll ever forget playing in the Stanley Cup Final and the feeling of missing the opportunity."