Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Vinny Prospal Shows Leadership in Relinquishing "A" to Marc Staal

Earlier this week I brought up the issue of whether Marc Staal would keep his “A” or whether Vinny Prospal would automatically get it back.  Today we got the answer.  Peter Botte tweets that when Vinny Prospal returns the Rangers lineup tomorrow it will be without an “A” on his sweater.  Prospal voluntarily surrendered his alternate captaincy to Marc Staal, allowing him to keep his “A”, following a conversation with John Tortorella about the situation. 

“That’s where our team is going,” coach John Tortorella said. “We’re trying to build a foundation with the young guys. (Prospal) understands the transition. He knew that this was going to happen. He almost wanted it to happen. It’s best for the development of Marc Staal.”

The move by Prospal proves again why he was the right to get the position last season as it shows tremendous leadership and humility to put the team ahead of himself.  This shows that Vinny has a feel for the locker room deep enough and an ego small enough to understand that the young guys are taking on the leadership roles and rewarding Staal with it.  I have to believe that the fact Prospal made the gesture will only add to the honor and pride Staal takes in having it on his sweater for the rest of the year.  It also shows that Prospal understands he does not need the title to be a leader in the dressing room.

Maybe an act like this by one of the veteran leaders on the club will inspire the man who wears the “C” to make a similar act in relinquishing his title to allow the young players to pick up the mantle.  I am not holding my breath on that one, but it would show similar leadership from Drury to do so.  The biggest hurdle to that though might be the realization from Drury that the “C” could be the thing that would possibly keep him in the lineup when more healthy forwards return.  Either way this act by Prospal is one that should be commended and it will once again be an honor to see the number 20 skating around MSG tomorrow night.  Welcome back Vinny.