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.