Chris Kreider would rather have Stanley Cup than Rangers captaincy

The inaugural winner of the “Mr. Ranger” Award stocks one thing in commonplace with Rod Gilbert, the participant for whom the award is called. That is, neither Chris Kreider nor Gilbert himself ever changed into the staff’s captain, although more than one vacancies came about thru their respective tenures on Broadway.

“Your value as a leader is not dependent on what letter you’re wearing or even if you have one,” Kreider advised The Post an afternoon forward of the season opener in opposition to the Lightning on the Garden. “When I got here up and we had that veteran core, no one cared who wore the ‘C’ or the ‘A.’

“Rick Nash, I don’t even assume he had a letter for approximately 4 years and he used to be as a lot of a pace-setter as we had on the ones groups. I’ve been lovely adamant that naming Jacob [Trouba] as captain used to be the fitting transfer, and it would have been sooner than ultimate season with all the issues he does each right here and clear of the ice. I feel it’s nice for him and for us.

“But I’m confident in the role I have as a leader. I know what I bring.”

Kreider is at the cusp of his eleventh season after having made his debut at age 20 right through the 2012 playoffs and following that with a cameo the next season. He is the senior Ranger, handed over for the captaincy when the submit changed into vacant following Ryan McDonagh’s go out on the 2018 time limit. Now, it sort of feels there’s a finality to this.

Kreider, like Gilbert, won’t ever be his staff’s captain. And so I requested him following Monday’s ultimate prep whether or not he would believe {that a} hollow in his résumé?

“I would never think of it that way. That would not even occur to me. Absolutely not,” stated No. 20. “The hollow in my résumé isn’t successful the Stanley Cup. That’s the outlet in my résumé.

“And I’m going to do everything in my power to rectify that this season.”

The Rangers are coming off a 110-point 2021-22 that culminated with an surprising, exciting journey to the Eastern Conference ultimate, the place they had been crushed in six video games through two-time protecting champion Tampa Bay after having grabbed a 2-0 lead within the collection and a 2-0 lead in Game 3.

Chris Kreider skates during the Rangers' preseason game against the Islanders on Sept. 26, 2022.
Chris Kreider skates right through the Rangers’ preseason sport in opposition to the Islanders on Sept. 26, 2022.
Jason Szenes

When it ended, Kreider used to be distraught. He’d come shut in 2014, with a shuttle to the Cup ultimate. He’d come shut in 2012 as a neophyte and alternatively in 2015 with journeys to the convention finals. It took seven years to even get again to that position. Close, however shut doesn’t depend. Two days following the 2022 removal, the winger may slightly string in combination a sentence at his breakup day press briefing.

“I don’t think that feeling of disappointment is something you ever get over,” Kreider stated. “You raise it with you, or a minimum of I do. It’s no longer as though I aroused from sleep one morning and it used to be long gone.

“There are so many positive experiences along the way, you have to appreciate both sides of it. For me, it was very similar to 2013-14. The character of the teams were very similar. You have to be able to build on the accomplishment and understand what went right and why it went wrong.”

Kreider deflected accolades as expertly as he did pucks ultimate yr. There used to be as a lot probability of him addressing his steadily mounting target general as there used to be of him becoming a chariot. He soft-talked the accomplishment when he hit the magic quantity.

And so, the reaction Monday used to be precisely as you would be expecting after I requested if he had thought of getting there once more and whether or not he believes there may be now power for him to equivalent his 52-goal extravaganza.

“Fifty is a number. I think about repetition and cause-and-effect,” stated Kreider, who scored a franchise file and league-leading 26 power-play objectives because the NHL’s most efficient net-presence. “The focal point is on attending to spots to place myself for possibilities, whether or not it’s the again submit on a cross-slot go or boxing out the D-man so I will be able to have my stick and frame in the fitting spot.

Chris Kreider tried holding back tears during his end-of-season Rangers press conference on June 13, 2022,
Chris Kreider attempted protecting again tears right through his end-of-season Rangers press convention on June 13, 2022,
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

“I’m taking part in Moneyball. It’s about percentages, about how again and again I will be able to get into a definite place and the way again and again my teammates will have the ability to make the play if I’m in the fitting spot. I play with such nice passers that I accept as true with that the chances will paintings in our want if I will be able to be the place I’m meant to be a definite proportion of the time.

“The short version is, I think about the process, not the result.”

That additionally applies to the season and to the quest for a championship.

“It’s about coming to the rink every day wanting to be better as an individual and as a team,” Kreider stated. “You can romanticize our run ultimate yr up to you need, however we additionally know that one jump the wrong way and shall we have been out within the first spherical. It’s no longer about having illusions, it’s about setting up the paintings. It’s about being fair with your self.

“I want to win a Stanley Cup with the Rangers. That would complete the résumé. That’s it. That’s what this year is about.”

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