Ron Rolston Fails With Co Captain Choice For Buffalo Sabres


The Buffalo Sabres announced today that Thomas Vanek and Steve Ott would share the responsibilities of captaining the young rebuilding Buffalo Sabres.

James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Thomas Vanek will be the captain for the home games, and Steve Ott will don the C for away portion of the schedule.

Both Thomas Vanek and Steve Ott are in the final year of their contract.  While Ott has publically came out and said that he loves being in Buffalo – and wants to remain; Thomas Vanek remains on the fence about being on a team that is headed no where fast.

While I had high hopes for Ron Rolston changing the culture and putting his stamp on the team, neither Vanek or Ott is the right decision for the burgeoning Buffalo Sabres.

Steve Ott’s style of play is more rough around the edges – and he will spend more time in the penalty box than you would want your captain to.  It is just not a wise idea to pin the C on a guy who has the tendency to lick the visors of his opponents. Ott is going to lead this team regardless of what letter is on the front of his chest – he is just a natural leader in the locker room, and the fire on the ice type guy that fans love in Buffalo.

For Thomas Vanek – it’s now a lot of pressure.  With only one year remaining on his contract – and the uncertainty of whether he will be here beyond the trade deadline, the team could be dangling the carrot in front of his face to stick around longer.  Vanek also knows that the letter on his chest isn’t sacred – as last year the Sabres traded away his best friend and then team captain Jason Pominville.

Ron Rolston had plenty of other options to tap into when it came to the captain of the team, and while he didn’t get it totally wrong – a better option was out there.

Christian Ehrhoff will wear the A for both home and away games, rounding out the trio of captains leading the team.

Co-captains wasn’t the right choice for the Buffalo Sabres.  The young team needs one voice, starting with the coach.  The coach then has one guy he goes to on the ice in the captain.

Tags: Buffalo Sabres Captain

  • qwicwted

    You know I kind of felt the same way about this co-captaining scenario – thinking Rolston took an easy way out – but when reflecting on it, I think it may accomplish a couple of things – see if Vanek assumes the leadership mantle of shaping the Sabres into “his team” and secondly it might take some “edge” off Ott – by that I mean eliminate some of the foolish penalties or behavior like “licking a visor”. Ott is a leader and he needs to take that step from “agitator” to mentoring and leading. I think it is a good move because it is a “shared” type of pressure – co-leadership.
    I liked the idea of Briere and Drury as co-captains and I think this can work. While I like Ehroff, I just don’t think he is vocal enough to be captain, but making him an assistant is good.

    • Timothy Redinger

      good points – and we really wont know until it pans out – but immediate reaction grade – he gets an F for cop out.

    • Jes

      licking the visor was awesome. ott’s an agitator through and through. that’s what he is getting paid. he would not be making as much as he is now if he was just a mentor to young players lol. I hope to god he doesn’t change his play. maybe a bit more coring but that’s about it.

  • Jes

    Hey you know this may be a blessing in disguise, I remember the last time we had an awesome team was when we had 2 captains.

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  • lamarred1118

    Gee Tim you might want to apply for a job at WGR, your negative attitude would fit right in. Where are all the other options you mentioned, who else is better, Leino, Stafford, Kaleta? Why is everybody so quick to condemn any news coming out of this town, especially the locals.
    No wonder Pegula won’t grant interviews.
    I agree with q, if this can have the positive impact he describes and many of us hope for, the team will be better off. Time will tell and time is the most brutal four letter word in the English language!

    • Timothy Redinger

      Negative attitude or me just tired with taking the easy way out? This move is merely picking the fan favorite (Ott) and placating someone into wanting to stay (Vanek). It may end up being just fine – but at the same time, the team had plenty of other options, you could have given it to a kid and told him, this is your team – and reshape the franchise which is what they should be doing as part of this “painful” rebuild we are supposed to be in. Or you could have given it to a guy who might actually lead this team properly in Ehrhoff. There is plenty of good that could come out of this move, but I see it is as taking the easy way out of a tough decision.

  • chas territo

    Vanek terrible choice for Captain. why? His lack of emotion on ice, Too timid. Ott, yeah, should only be one Captain on the team, not 2, when that happens divisiveness can happen. Yes his playing style can lead to time in the penalty box or with the new responsibilities , he plays better as far as getting penalties Co-Captains ….what do they really do or why appoint them?

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  • Dano

    I actually feel this is a good thing.

    With Drury/Briere, we had a pair of high powered Centermen that had a great deal of skill. They were one in the same so to speak..

    This though.. From Prima-Donna to the gutter, both on display.

    Buffalo has a young and influential team. If it goes in just 1 direction, it could get stale really quick. Having more then 1 input in the direction of where its going to go is a lot better IMO.

    2 kinds of leadership. Aggressive and Persuasive. Vanek would be persuasive whereas Ott will definitely go calling people out.

    • chas territo

      Yes, it was good when they were here, not their not. I don’t see that we have 2 players for Captain on this yes team, if there who are they. Vanek is not a good appointee for Captain, the 2 things you said are not Vanek. If you read my comment below, you will read what I think about the choices. Erhoff would be acceptable as Captain. Yes, Rolston took the easy way out. In my mind that’s the 1st bad move he’s done.