Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

So Close Yet So Far

It’s that time of year again hockey fans! The season is just a couple of days away, so just sit back, relax and get ready for some Buffalo Sabres hockey! In just over 48 hours the Buffalo Sabres will kick off their season on the road against the Detroit Red Wings. While this game seems so close, there are still some questions that the Sabres need answers to. Will Marcus Foligno be ready for opening night? Which forward combos will Ron Rolston go with? And the biggest question of all, who will be the Sabres captain?

Finding the next Sabres captain was one of the main tasks of this past offseason, and this has still not been resolved. After the conclusion of his past season, most Sabres fans, along with myself, would have thought that Thomas Vanek was the leading candidate to be the team’s next captain. Vanek is no doubt the team’s most skilled player, an elusive goal scorer and a dominant force on the power play; not to mention his eight seasons of 20 plus goals. However, with the captain still yet to be named this close to the season, you can’t help but wonder that the Sabres are looking at someone else other than Vanek to be the leader of the team. If the Sabres look elsewhere for their captain, there are four potential candidates.

Other than Vanek, there are two forwards and two defenseman who are worthy of being named the teams next captain. When you look at the forwards, Steve Ott and Cody Hodgson stand out in my mind. Steve Ott is a pure energy guy. Every shift he gets the fans on the edge of their seat, and plays with his heart on his sleeve. Although Ott has only been with the Sabres for a season, he has earned the respect of his teammates, coaches and the fans to be the Sabres next captain. Newly signed Cody Hodgson is another option. The Sabres just inked the forward to a six year deal, so Hodgson is here to stay. CoHo is a rising star in this league, and management has obvious faith in him, so it would make sense to name Hodgson the captain of the team.

When you look at the blue line, there are two standouts that could be named captain. Mike Weber catches my attention for this. Weber has done an exceptional job this offseason acting as a mentor to all of the young Dmen on the Sabres roster. Weber, coming off arguably his best season in the NHL, just signed a new three year deal with the club. Weber is known for his sound defensive play and his toughness. I believe he could be the wild card to be the next Sabres captain. The long shot to be named captain is Christian Ehrhoff. Many people believe that he has been the best Sabres Dman the last couple of years despite never coming close to his offensive numbers he once amassed in Vancouver. Ehrhoff is a veteran who logs a ton of ice time per game and is valuable to the backend. He is another valid candidate to be captain.

We are probably just hours away until we find out who the next captain of the Buffalo Sabres will be. With five legitimate candidates who are worthy of dawning the “C”, who’s your choice for captain?

Tags: Buffalo Sabres NHL Thomas Vanek

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