The New York Rangers will name a captain at some point and have been using this season to evaluate the potential candidates, president John Davidson said during a virtual question-and-answer session conducted by the team.
"It's a fair question because fans want to know where is the leadership? Who is going to be the captain?" Davidson said during the session Thursday, when he answered questions submitted by fans. "The thing I learned along the way is, don't pick a captain just to pick a captain. I think it's something that has to weed itself out. As you go through different experiences, you feel and have an understanding of what players express certain ways of leading. Some players are very quiet yet lead on the ice like crazy. Some guys are very loud. Some guys don't speak very often but when they speak everybody listens. We're in the process of trying to figure that out."
The Rangers haven't had a captain in more than two years, since they traded defenseman Ryan McDonagh to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Feb. 26, 2018. Forwards Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider, and defenseman Marc Staal are New York's alternate captains this season.
"Sometimes you don't want to give a person too much if (you're) not sure he can handle it because it becomes a detriment," Davidson said. "It's an important question, but that can't sway us into pushing us into something that we don't feel is right as far as the timing goes. That's not a slight on anybody, believe me, but we'll get to it and hopefully it'll work itself out."
Davidson said he and his staff are staying busy preparing for the 中国体彩官方app NHL Draft, although a new date has not been set. The NHL postponed the draft, originally scheduled for June 26-27 in Montreal, because of uncertainty resulting from the coronavirus that has paused the season since March 12.
"This is a big draft for us," Davidson said. "We have two picks in the first round and others. We really have to pay attention to this. The draft nowadays is the blood line to a franchise."
Davidson, who said he is in contact with general manager Jeff Gorton daily and assistant general manager Chris Drury on a regular basis, said the Rangers' scouts in North America and internationally have been given assignments to prepare for the draft.
"An example would be the top 50 players in the draft. Jim Sullivan, part of our management staff, sends out three games that each one of the players have played, one at a time," Davidson said. "All the scouts have to watch each one of those games and in turn put in reports on each one of those. They get sent back and everybody reads them and then they dissect them and have opinions on why this scout thought that, or this scout thought that. Just trying to do a thorough job of keeping guys busy and at the same time prepping for the draft."
Davidson added that some of the Rangers scouts, particularly in Western Canada, have been calling prospects and the people closest to them to learn more about the players.
"The scouting world, it was just getting into the playoffs and end of seasons for a lot of these players, and that's gone, it's disappeared," Davidson said. "So now you have to reach out to their coaches, their parents, their schoolteachers, and dig deep and deep and deeper to find out character and things along those lines. So we're busy."