Big shoes to fill: Rangers give 'C' to Kasparaitis

Updated: October 3, 2005, 12:31 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Jaromir Jagr said he didn't think he should be captain. So, the New York Rangers went in a different direction.

After Darius Kasparaitis and his $3.4 million salary were kept on by the Rangers, the team on Sunday announced that Kasparaitis would also serve as team captain.

"I played with a lot of guys in this room," Kasparaitis told reporters Sunday. "And with the younger guys I worked out in the summer. And the Russian guys they know me from over there. I'm kind of a man of the world.

"It would be such a great honor and such a big responsibility being the captain of the New York Rangers," Kasparaitis added. "I don't think there's anywhere else that you can compare that. Especially going after Mark Messier, it's going to be tough and a lot of pressure."

After Messier announced his retirement last month, Jagr told reporters that he didn't think he'd want to be captain.

Said Jagr at the time: "I don't think I will be the captain. Because you have to speak to the fans, in my opinion, it's a lot easier for a North American guy who speaks fluently in English. I wouldn't mind if the New York Rangers were in Czech [Republic]."