Last week, Rick Nash spoke about the moves the Rangers made this summer and pointed to leadership in the locker room that has been lost since Derek Stepan and Dan Girardi are not longer with the team. (NYR)
Nash said that it’s on guys like himself as well as Kevin Hayes, JT Miller and Chris Kreider, saying that it’s time for that trio to “jump to the next level and become leaders.” (NYR)
He added that it’s up to him to teach those players how to do that. (NYR)
While speaking at the Winter Classic press conference last Friday, Nash said “gonna be some tough shoes to fill with leadership and losing those guys. As I was saying earlier, some of those guys like Miller, Hayes, Kreider, it’s their time to step up and take the room over. They are not young guys any more and it will be fun to watch.” (SNY)
It’s been wondered who will replace Stepan and Girardi with the “A’s” on their jersey this season.
Adam Rotter: The core leaders for the Rangers remain Ryan McDonagh, Rick Nash, Marc Staal and, of course, Henrik Lundqvist. Mats Zuccarello is in that mix, but Nash is right in saying that the Rangers need some of their top young players to take on bigger roles. Chris Kreider is one of the longest tenured players, JT Miller has shown that he can play a big role and then there are guys like Brady Skjei and Mika Zibanejad who haven’t been part of the organization that long but are huge pieces of the future. Brendan Smith took on a leadership role as soon as he arrived, Kevin Shattenkirk will likely do the same and the Rangers will hopefully have a lot of players step up to replace two of the biggest leaders in Stepan and Girardi that the team has had in recent memory.