The New York Rangers will wait until the end of training camp before naming a captain for the 2014-15 season, coach Alain Vigneault said Thursday.
The Rangers have been without a captain since trading Ryan Callahan to the Tampa Bay Lightning on March 5.
30 IN 15 SEASON PREVIEW PACKAGE
This month, NHL.com will put two NHL teams in the preview spotlight each day with a package of stories providing an in-depth look at the roster and potential fortunes as the 2014-15 season approaches. SEE SCHEDULE ›
"I think that all teams have a core leadership group, and it's not just up to one individual, the captain, to be the leader, it has to be a group effort," Vigneault told the Rangers website. "I see in our team some real strong possibilities as far as being captain; but I also see that this is a new year and we changed some pieces to the puzzle, so I want to see how it unfolds during training camp."
Defenseman Ryan McDonagh told NHL.com during a visit to League headquarters during the Player Media Tour earlier this month that he is ready to assume the captaincy.
"Just with the way the four years have gone here, I feel real comfortable here in New York. I feel comfortable with the guys and I think they have an understanding of my attitude and what I try to do on the ice," McDonagh said. "There's no egos in this group at all. Whatever happens with it, I don't think it will change the way we interact and the way we expect each other to play. Our group is real close in that aspect. It would obviously be a great honor and we'll see what happens, but it would definitely be a great responsibility."
Vigneault also said he anticipates starting the season with 13 forwards and seven defensemen, and that young forwards J.T. Miller and Kevin Hayes will start training camp at center.
"I think there's going to be some great internal competition for some spots," Vigneault said. "We lost some very important players."
Forwards Brad Richards, Benoit Pouliot and Brian Boyle, and defenseman Anton Stralman, are among the players not to return to a Rangers team that made the Stanley Cup Final last season, losing to the Los Angeles Kings in five games.