Originally posted on The Rangers Tribune  |  Last updated 2/13/12

Going into the 2011-12 season, there was little doubt that winger Ryan Callahan would be named the newest captain of the New York Rangers organization. As we’ve seen year after year, Callahan epitomizes everything it means to don the Broadway Blueshirt, and a guy like that is easy to be motivated and inspired by. Essentially, he fit the description of a captain to a T, and through 54 games played so far this season, he is further proving why he was the right choice. 

In 2010-11, Callahan reached a career-high in goals scored with 23 on the season. The same goes for total points, which he ended up tallying 48, and you must remember that this was all while missing 22 games due to multiple injuries over the course of the year. There were times last season where the Rangers just played dead hockey and barely showed up to the rink. Not surprisingly, though, Callahan would never be one of the players just pacing around the ice. Despite his teammates giving up, he did not, and that's when he really shined last year. 

The Rangers haven't had too many of those games this season, so Callahan hasn't really had to be the sole energy spark of the hockey club all that much. However, he is well on pace to break his career-highs from last season in his first stint with the "C" sewn on his sweater. In 54 games -- just six less than his total played last year -- Cally has 22 goals and 19 assists for 41 collective points. That's good for second on the team in scoring at the moment, as Marian Gaborik leads with 48 points. 

Often times, after re-signing with a team and earning a much larger contract, that individual seems to slack off a bit in the following season since they played so hard the year before when trying to earn a raise. But Callahan has come back here and is on his way to posting up more career numbers, and has embraced the responsibility of captain extremely well. It's reasons like this that he was named captain in the first place, because not everyone has the self-motivation that Cally does. He's something special. 

And you only have to go as far as the locker room to find out how much of an impact the 26-year-old from Rochester, New York has on the hockey club on and off the ice. For example, I don't know if you guys all follow the Ranger players who are on Twitter, but they are constantly referring to Ryan as "the right way Callahan". In other words, he's always doing it the right way - no beating around the bush, he's a meat and potatoes kind of guy, and his teammates clearly admire and appreciate that. 

Also, NBC did a great segment on Callahan during the first intermission of Sunday's game against the Capitals, in which Lundqvist, Richards, Prust and others all commended Cally for what he does as captain of the Rangers and how hard he works. I mean, Brad Richards is known for his leadership, and there he is looking up to Ryan Callahan. That says a lot. 

And beyond the teammate appreciation for the guy, he is a clear fan favorite as well. I don't know anyone who calls themselves a fan of this team and doesn't like Cally. There's nothing to not like about him since he is always doing it "the right way". This is the type of guy you want wearing the "C", because much like Mark Messier, the fans and players will always support him and have his back. It's an indescribable mutual relationship between fan and player. 

I've wanted to dedicate a post to Cally for a while now, but I waited for the perfect opportunity to come up. I think a four-goal weekend is probably the best opportunity I am going to get, so I thought this was perfect timing. He damn well deserves it and hopefully I will have to write up another in June after he raises Lord Stanley's Cup over his head. 

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