Ryan Callahan has played a lot of hockey in the state of New York. If the Buffalo Sabres were wise, they would try as hard they can to bring the Rochester, New York native back for another stint in his home state. While the current focus of the Buffalo Sabres and their fans is on the draft – free agency is right around the corner and the Sabres have to be active in that market as well.
After a successful stint with the New York Rangers where he rose to captain the famed Broadway Blueshirts – Callahan was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning ten years after being drafted by the New York Rangers. It was a captain for captain swap as the Tampa Bay Lightning once again felt the need to trade a captain away.
The Buffalo Sabres could use a player with Callahan’s leadership and poise – as well as his style of play.
While he has never made it to the Stanley Cup Finals – he has gotten the New York Rangers to the Eastern Conference finals.
As I keep looking over the roster, I wonder where strong team leadership is going to come from. Are they going to hand the captaincy over to a kid, hoping that he learns the game and how to lead a group of men onto the ice? The Sabres need someone like Ryan Callahan who can take the lead on the ice, and in the locker room – ensuring that players are held responsible for themselves.
As a rebuilding franchise – the team needs someone to bear that burden that has been around the game. It is fine for an established team to hand the captaincy to a young player. The Buffalo Sabres have a respect issue with the league officials however, that is better addressed by a captain with experience. That change in culture is only going to change by bringing someone in from the outside.
Who is going to lead the Buffalo Sabres next season? Christian Ehrhoff or Drew Stafford? Naming one of those two captain could only further the curse of the Buffalo Sabres captain, as it is likely they will be traded prior to the deadline next season. Tyler Ennis? Naming Ennis captain will do nothing to resolve your respect issues.
Pursue Ryan Callahan this summer, and you regain some of the league wide respect that you are missing.