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Six teams still without captains entering training camp

by John Kreiser
The New York Rangers' decision Monday to make Ryan Callahan the 26th captain in franchise history cut the list of teams without a player wearing the "C" to six -- three of them in the Atlantic Division.

Callahan, who succeeded the recently retired Chris Drury and bumps the number of U.S.-born captains to four, joins Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby as the only captains in the Atlantic Division -- New Jersey, the New York Islanders and Philadelphia have not designated a captain.

Ryan Callahan
Right Wing - NYR
GOALS: 23 | ASST: 25 | PTS: 48
SOG: 179 | +/-: -7
The Devils have yet to name a replacement for Jamie Langenbrunner, who was traded to Dallas last January; they list Zach Parise, Patrik Elias and Ilya Kovalchuk as alternates. Doug Weight, who wore the "C" for the Islanders although he missed most of the last two seasons with injuries, retired during the summer. The Isles list defensemen Mark Streit and forward Kyle Okposo as alternates, though Streit missed all of last season with a shoulder injury. The Flyers' captaincy was vacated when Mike Richards was dealt to Los Angeles in June. Philadelphia currently lists no alternate captains; Jeff Carter (traded to Columbus the same day as Richards was moved), Chris Pronger and Kimmo Timonen wore the "A" last season.

Buffalo has been without a captain since February, when defenseman Craig Rivet was traded to Columbus. The Sabres' roster currently lists no alternates; Jason Pominville, Paul Gaustad, Derek Roy, Thomas Vanek and Jochen Hecht wore an "A" during the 2010-11 season. Florida also has been without a captain since February -- the Panthers went captain-less after dealing Bryan McCabe to the New York Rangers. They list only one alternate, center Stephen Weiss.

Colorado's captaincy is vacant following the retirement of defenseman Adam Foote, who succeeded Joe Sakic as captain in 2009. The Avs currently list no alternates, though Milan Hejduk and Paul Stastny wore an "A" last season.

Callahan is the second player named captain in the past few days. On Friday, the St. Louis Blues gave their captaincy to David Backes. He replaces Eric Brewer, who was dealt to Tampa Bay at the trade deadline in February.
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