Vanek Finally Takes a Leadership Role

Last night, the Buffalo Sabres began adjusting to life knowing that they will probably no longer have a team captain.

Craig Rivet, who cleared waivers today at 12:00 PM, requested a trade earlier this month.  While GM Darcy Regier was unable to find a suitor who would give anything up for Rivet, the Sabres GM is committed to fulfilling the captain’s request to play.

Craig Rivet cleared waivers and he will be assigned to Portland, but we will continue to work to try and get him playing somewhere in the National Hockey League and allow him to continue his career,” Regier said.

Regier went on to say that Rivet would be put on re-entry waivers Friday afternoon, with the hope that a team would claim Rivet at half the price of his current cap hit, which is $3.5 million.

Meanwhile, the Coach Lindy Ruff has filled the leadership void by having three alternate captains on the ice, rather than the traditional captain and two alternate captains.  The league rules state that if a team does not have a captain, they are permitted to have three alternate captains on the ice.

Ruff announced that they would be rotating the “A”s between four players, three of which have served in leadership roles before: Jochen Hecht, Paul Gaustad, and Jason Pominville.  The newcomer is none other than Thomas Vanek, a 6th-year forward on the team, and he says that he’s ready for the extra responsibility.

“I welcome it. I have no problem with having [the “A”] and it’s not going to change the way I approach the game or approach the room,” Vanek said.

Vanek has been looked at by the fans as a team leader, and now he has the letter to show for it.  It’s time for the highly-touted 5th overall draft pick from 2003 to take up responsibility and start leading the team, and that’s certainly what Ruff thinks.

“It’s the point of his career where he’s our leading scorer and you hear his voice in the room now, and I think it’s important that some of the leadership falls on his shoulders,” said Ruff.

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