August figures to be a relatively quiet month for the Rangers if only because July was so successful, even if it will get busier toward the end as players return to the team's practice facility for informal skates.

Come hectic September, though, with the start of training camp and preseason, one of the more frequently asked questions will be the choice of the Rangers' next captain given Chris Drury's buyout this summer.

It seems to be a choice among three players, all with strong merits.

Sparkplug right wing Ryan Callahan, 26, when healthy, assumed the role of de facto captain last season with Drury missing so much time due to injuries.

No. 1 defenseman Marc Staal, 24, like Callahan, an alternate captain last season, has more of a quiet demeanor, at least publicly. But his hockey acumen and status as a Rangers' pillar affords him great respect in the dressing room.

Marquee free agent Brad Richards, 31, has been an alternate both with the Lightning (under Rangers coach John Tortorella) and, most recently, with the Stars. With a nine-year, $60 million deal, he's already expected to be the Rangers' on-ice leader both as a No. 1 center and power-play quarterback.