Artemi Panarin does not want to be named captain of the New York Rangers, the 29-year-old forward told "Hockey in the Know" on Instagram.
"I think we have more deserving candidates for that role now," Panarin said Friday. "Would I want it? I'd rather say no, actually.
"It's not just putting a letter on the sweater and walking around taking pictures. It's a lot of rough work in the locker room. And it's not just about playing good hockey. You also have to give your energy between the periods, motivate guys, giving interviews, being the face of the franchise. Overall, it's a lot of work off the ice."
Panarin enters the third season of a seven-year contract he signed with the Rangers on July 1, 2019 and was an alternate captain with center Mika Zibanejad, forward Chris Kreider and defenseman Jacob Trouba last season. He's scored 153 points (49 goals, 104 assists) in 111 games for New York and was a finalist for the Hart Trophy voted as most valuable player in the NHL in 2019-20 (won by Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl.) Panarin's 1.38 points per game are third in the NHL the past two seasons behind Oilers captain Connor McDavid (1.68) and Draisaitl (1.53).
"I think I'm more effective in hockey," Panarin said. "And I'm afraid that I won't be an effective captain. I even don't speak English. How can I motivate? I can only influence with my own game. And they will listen to me without any letters."