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Is this the Beginning of the End for Drew Stafford?

Lost in all the commotion surrounding the new captain or co-captains of the Buffalo Sabres, was the fact Drew Stafford was stripped of his A by new head coach Ron Rolston. Could this be the beginning of the end for Drew Stafford as a member of the Buffalo Sabres?

In addition to Steve Ott and Thomas Vanek being named co-captains, it was announced that Christian Ehrhoff would sport the only other letter as a member of the Sabres leadership. Ehrhoff appears to have been given Stafford’s A and if I’m Drew, I’m reading

between the lines.

There’s not much you can say to defend Stafford or his right to have the A. Quite frankly the way he’s been playing he certainly doesn’t deserve it, but still being stripped of the A has to be a tough pill to swallow. Obviously when a new coach comes to town they have whatever right to name who ever they would like to wear the C and A’s, but they usually keep the former A’s for a little while longer. Generally when a player is given an A, they’re cemented as a leader of the team and that A stays with them- to be stripped is something to be embarrassed about.

Unfortunately since signing a four-year extension Drew Stafford has been a disappointment and has virtually fallen to a role on the 3rd line and right now that’s where he could expect to play on any team. After being stripped of his A and seeing the new, younger generation and direction the Sabres are going, hopefully Stafford get’s the message that he has to be better. For a 27 year-old former 1st round pick, Stafford has to be better and once again become a reliable player for the Sabres. Hopefully Stafford see’s this as a wake-up call and comes out on fire to start off the year, so the Sabres can trade him before the deadline because right now they can’t get much for him.

Flip to the other side of the coin. Is Rolston stripping Stafford of his letter a way of showing him that his days of slacking off in Buffalo are soon coming to an end? Rolston has made it clear he wants players who will give it their all every night and produce, something Stafford hasn’t been guilty of for almost two season’s. Fans and apparently management seem to be running out of patience with Stafford, it’s time for him to either shape up or ship out. The rebuilding Sabres have no room for dead weight, when there’s exciting rookies playing their tails off to be on the Sabres.

What do you think; Is Stafford being stripped of his A a wake-up call or the beginning of the end for his time in Buffalo?

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