Through three pre-season games, the Buffalo Sabres have been led by two different captains. Thomas Vanek has worn the C twice so far.
Head coach Ron Rolston has said he will continue to rotate the captaincy throughout training camp and the pre season, before awarding one person the job prior to the start of the regular season.
Applications for the role are welcome.
I am glad that Ron Rolston has said he will name the captain. There is a progression in the world of hockey, the president or owner hires the general manager, who brings in his coach, who names his captain – its how a system is built.
I am not in the locker room, nor at team meetings. I watch practices – I see games. I don’t know what goes on behind closed doors, nor do I pretend to. Having said all that – I don’t want Thomas Vanek to be the captain of a ship that has started out with water in the bilge of the ship – waiting to sink further or rise above the wave.
It’s not that I don’t like Thomas Vanek – on the contrary. I love the skill that he brings to the game, and I love the fact that he can park himself in front of an opposing goaltender and take an absolute beating from opposing defenseman.
With only one year remaining on his contract – it’s just not wise to saddle him further with the addition of the C on his sweater, no matter how many Sabres you adorn it with on your patchwork alternate sweater. If the young Buffalo Sabres don’t look in Thomas Vanek’s eyes that things are progressing quickly – Vanek will most likely be shipped out of Buffalo.
The same could be said about Steve Ott – with only a year left on his contract – would be want to be burdened with the added responsibility that the captaincy brings. Ott will always be a leader, its just his style. He doesn’t need an adornment on his uniform. In fact, everyone that I have spoken to about Ott thinks his game would change for the worse if he was made the captain of the team.
I don’t think there is a forward on this team that can lead the Buffalo Sabres into the future. Christian Ehrhoff needs to be tagged as the Captain of the team, he has a long term contract, he is an older player; and he is a presence for the younger players on the team.