Whether Ryan Callahan is or isn’t named captain of the New York Rangers probably won’t be known until sometime during or after training camp, and NHL teams don’t hit the ice for another five or six weeks.
But Callahan’s value to the Rangers — on and off the ice — is difficult to measure, according to his coach, John Tortorella.
“It’s not all about numbers,” Tortorella said. “It’s also about the little things you do as a player.
“When he’s on the bench (between shifts) and I’m looking up and down the bench (for the next line change), I’m always looking for him.”
Tortorella believes the Rangers inability to close out playoff victories — despite being ahead in the third period — was in part due to Callahan’s absence. The four-year NHL veteran suffered a broken ankle in the final week of the regular season by blocking a Zdeno Chara slap shot.
“We had three leads in the third period and we couldn’t nail them down,” Tortorella said.
Both Callahan and Tortorella will be at the Sports Centre at MCC on Sunday for the Craig Charron Memorial Classic. The hockey game has been organized again by the Amerks Alumni Association and benefits the wife and four children of Charron, who died in October at 42.