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Artemi Panarin doesn’t have any desire to be named commander of the New York Rangers, the 29-year-old forward told “Hockey in the Know” on Instagram.
“I think we have more deserving candidates for that role now,” Panarin said Friday. “Would I want it? I’d rather say no, actually.
“It’s not simply putting a letter on the sweater and strolling around taking pictures. It’s a ton of unpleasant work in the storage space. What’s more, it’s not just with regards to playing great hockey. You likewise need to give your energy between the periods, persuade folks, giving meetings, being the essence of the establishment. Generally, it’s a great deal of work off the ice.”
Panarin enters the third season of a seven-year contract he signed with the Rangers on July 1, 2019 and was an alternate captain with center Mika Zibanejad, forward Chris Kreider and defenseman Jacob Trouba last season. He’s scored 153 points (49 goals, 104 assists) in 111 games for New York and was a finalist for the Hart Trophy voted as most valuable player in the NHL in 2019-20 (won by Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl.) Panarin’s 1.38 points per game are third in the NHL the past two seasons behind Oilers captain Connor McDavid (1.68) and Draisaitl (1.53).
“I believe I’m more compelling in hockey,” Panarin said. “And I’m worried about the possibility that that I will not be a successful chief. I even don’t communicate in English. How might I rouse? I can just impact with my own game. Furthermore, they will pay attention to me with no letters.”
Rangers general manager Chris Drury said it’s a “priority” to name a captain this season and wants coach Gerard Gallant to have some time to assess before a decision is made. New York hasn’t had one since defenseman Ryan McDonagh was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Feb. 26, 2018.
“It’s hard to say about requiring one,” Rangers defenseman Adam Fox told the “NHL @TheRink” podcast Sept. 15. “I think we’ve had a few people who are extraordinary pioneers, and folks with experience. The manner in which our group has been with youthful folks, it would have assisted with some course with one person to have a voice in that sense.”
Kreider is the longest-tenured player on the Rangers. The 30-year-old forward has played 573 regular-season games and 80 Stanley Cup Playoff games over nine seasons, all with New York, which was fifth in the eight-team MassMutual East Division (27-23-6) last season and has not won an NHL postseason game since 2017. Gallant replaced David Quinn, who was fired May 12 after three seasons.
Forward Brian Boyle, Kreider’s former Rangers teammate who signed a professional tryout contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sept. 3, said Kreider is an ideal candidate.
“He does all that right,” Boyle said at the Smashfest Charity Ping-Pong Challenge on Aug. 5.
“I mean, I saw him come in as a little doggy out of Boston College (in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs). I was that kid myself. The impact he had immediately was self-evident and he was a jolt for us. He’s experienced everything in that group and presently he’s the privileged few, despite the fact that he’s not old. He’s actually got wheels, he’s a high-character individual, a keen individual and knows the stuff to win.
“I’ve been friends with him for a long time, so I’d love to see that.”
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