Mon. Aug 15th, 2022

Captain Mika Zibanejad

May 6, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) in the first period against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Mika Zibanejad is officially set to be a member of the New York Rangers for the next eight seasons. The team announced an extension with the 28-year-old center on Sunday.

“I do not know if words will ever be enough to describe how I feel right now,” said one enthusiastic Mika on Instagram. “The feeling of wearing the New York Rangers jersey is the greatest honor, and I can not believe I will get a chance to do so for another 8 years.”

The humble Swede wanted to thank his brother, who is also his agent, for getting the deal done. He thanked his wife, family, friends and also Rangers faithful. “We have a great team with good players on the ice, there are even better people off the ice and I couldn’t be more excited and grateful for that,” he added.

Is Mika Zibanejad back in the conversation for the Rangers captain?

Now that the uncertainty about his future has been removed, is Zibanejad back in the mix for the Rangers captain?

The short and sweet answer should be easy ‘YES‘. However, the decision may have already been made before the extension was signed.

Last night, the MSG broadcast ran somewhere on Mika Zibanejad, clearly showing how his teammates see him as a leader.

“He’s a guy I can learn a lot from,” Alexis Lafrenière said. “Having him as my center man is a privilege.” This season, Rangers’ 1st overall pick from the 2020 Draft is scheduled to play in line with him this season.

zibanejad extended
May 5, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Mika Zibanejad # 93 of the New York Rangers leaves the ice after the season’s final home game against the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett / POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

“Everyone has seen what he is capable of doing,” said Jacob Trouba, who is the leading candidate for C. “He can take over a game.”

The most calling endorsement for Mika as possibly the next captain came from longtime line mate and co-candidate for captain Chris Kreider.

“He’s a guy who reminds me a lot of Rick Nash,” Kreider said. “He’s not overly vocal, but he does it all on the ice. He will do whatever it takes to win. He cares about winning more than anyone else. I’m going to war for that guy. ”

Mika Zibanejad contract breach

Rangers will soon appoint a captain

The Rangers are going to name a captain this season. Chris Drury made that clear before the start of the camp and by Gerard Gallant repeatedly during it.

Chris Kreider attracted a lot of attention with his willingness to get some sort of retaliation for Ryan Reaves’ injury to the Devils. We know he’s definitely in the mix, but Jacob Trouba has been talked about by people as the likely next Rangers captain, including Joe Micheletti during the same broadcast.

“Obviously, it’s going to be Trouba,” I was told by a source familiar with the team. “I would be shocked if it was anyone else.”

That was before Micah’s extension, and now that it’s done, the decision is not so clear.

So who will it be? Trouba? Kreider? or the newly signed Zibanejad? The answer will come soon.

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