Here we are, folks. The 2011-12 NHL season begins tomorrow, and the Buffalo Sabres open their season in Finland on Friday.
Although the season is quickly approaching, there’s still several questions left answered.
The most prevalent question on a lot of Sabres fans minds is: Who will be captain?! Ruff said that the captain would be named after the last preseason game, so it’s expected any day now! Gaustad, Vanek, Roy, Pominville – all notable candidates. The question also remains – who will get the As? Personally, I’d like to see a single named captain with rotating As. Give everyone on the team a chance to step up in a leadership position, while still maintaining that single, non-rotating C. Players such as Leopold and Myers deserve a chance.
Another question: what will happen on defense? The departures of Shaone Morrisonn and Steve Montador took two men out of the picture, but the blueline is still overcrowded: Leopold, Weber, Gragnani, Sekera, Myers, Regehr, and Ehrhoff. Don’t forget, Gragnani can also play forward, so this might be a viable option to keep all seven in the lineup.
How will the new Sabres locker room look, and how will that foster a ‘family’ atmosphere among the players? It’s been several weeks since we saw any updates on the room’s progress, but it is expected to be completed by regular season. Although it may not seem that important, the locker room is essential in maintaining the good attitudes of the guys.
And for the fans – what will the “First Niagara Center” sign look like? It will certainly be an odd site at first, for those so familiar with walking down Washington Street and catching the first glimpse of the arena and its sign.
So many questions. How will Ehrhoff, Regehr and Leino fit in with the team? How will the arena improvements (including the better ice system) change the game? How will Brendan Shanahan’s stricter enforcement policies affect the way guys play? And once again, WHO WILL BE NAMED CAPTAIN?
As the commercial goes – questions will become answers….. very soon.