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2021-22 Rangers

What Gerard Gallant said about the Captain decision, Reaves, Zibanejad and more

Gerard Gallant spoke on Monday and said (NYR):

  • On the leadership for the season, “today we decided to finally end the drama and name our captains for the year and we’re going the route that I took before in my past experience, we named six alternate captains today and, like I said, me and Dru and the coaching staff had a lot of discussions over the last three weeks and as you guys know, you were bothering me about naming a Captain and doing this and that but this is the direction I feel the most comfortable with. I feel very strongly about it and I think when we talk to our players this morning they were in agreement with it and so it was a it was a good decision by us.”

  • What changed about not naming a Captain, “I think I told you I had it both ways. I’m not going to tell you the truth every time, but there was discussion about having a captain, there was a lot of discussion about what I’ve had in the past, and when Dru told me you know, ultimately you’re going to make the final decision on this and that’s what I came up with so that’s what I feel very comfortable with with our group and like I said there’s six guys, I think they’re announced and that you guys know them. They are all legitimate captains, they are all good leaders and I just feel very strongly with this group and me being with them for only a month that we’re taking the best direction and that’s gonna help our team the most.”
  • You think that having six guys is better than one, “Definitely.”
  • Was it hard to pick one guy over the other, “I don’t think it’s that, I think it’s more about what I like, you know, and like I said I never won a Stanley Cup, but I think I’ve had some success in the past with my team’s and it worked really well for me. And let’s face it, a captain 90% of the time when a captain comes to the coach it’s already discussed with six or seven other guys, the veterans. So that’s the way I look at it, we got good core veterans, we’ve brought some good people in also, it was a good group here before that, and I’m a firm, firm strong believer about these veteran guys going to take a leadership role, and they’re going to help our kids grow and make our team better so at the at the end of the day when you sat down and, you know, there was some talk about we needed a captain, well, I really like what we’ve done.”
  • Could you end up naming a Captain, “anything could change, you know, like last week I told you we might have a captain, so it could change but I don’t I don’t I don’t expect it’s going to change.”
  • On Ryan Reaves’ status, “obviously, him being out there and skating the full practice like he did, I would expect it but it’s still day to day so we want to see how he gets along after today so, but I feel real good about the way he skated, he stayed all of practice and we’ll see but, again, I don’t know it’s still day to day.
  • On Ryan Strome, “no issues today and unless the trainers tell me something different we will go on as they are ready to play.”
  • Do you want a grittier lineup for Washington, “no, no, no, the best lineup available that we think is going to be for that game and that’s what we’re gonna play. So we’re not worried about that game as as gritty, you know payback game, those games are going to be about the first game and try to get off to a great start.”
  • On Zibanejad, “really like him, obviously. As an opposing coach you watch and circle guys, the top players on other teams and he’s been one of those guys, so, well deserved contract we are real happy to have him and we just want him to do the same thing he’s’ done. You know you don’t, cuz you get a big contract you don’t have to be any different,  he got the contract because of the way he played, and that’s what we need from him and we know we’re going to get that.”
  • How hard was it to game plan against Zibanejad, “Well you did that for all the starts on the other team so you had your game plan, but a lot of times the game plan don’t work when you when you’ve got guys like that on the other side.  Power Play, penalty kill, he’s can do it all for the New York Rangers and like I said he’s a top player in our league and, you know, he got taken care of as a top player so we are really happy to have him for the next nine years and hopefully I got him for nine.”