Today, Lindy Ruff and the Buffalo Sabres announced their captain and alternate captains for the upcoming season. To the surprise of some, Jason Pominville was announced as the 15th full-time captain in Sabres history. His assistance for the upcoming season will be long time teammates Paul Gaustad, Derek Roy, Thomas Vanek, and Drew Stafford.
All of these players have been playing together on the Sabres since the 06-07 season, Pominville, Gaustad, and Roy playing together since the 03-04 season (Sabres and Americans). In this day of free agency and the trade deadline frenzy, its rare for groups of players to play long amounts of time together. It has long been used as an excuse for past events, saying things like we believe in our core group of players and that the loss of former players wasn’t going to be a problem.
Ruff is putting all of his confidence into the core right now. With this move he, is telling them this is your team now lead us to the goal. In the past a veteran player who developed in another organization would have been named captain. The last Sabres captain that was drafted by the team was Mike Ramsey. Ramsey was last captain back in the 1991-92 season. Ruff could have easily named new veteran defenseman Robyn Regehr as captain and most would have been alright with this. Instead, Ruff is putting this team on the back of the core group of players he has developed.
I couldn’t agree more with this move. It is finally time to show the faith you have in these players and not just talk about it. Let this group prove you made the right decision in investing in them (35% of the cap hit). This group will be entrusted in leading a group of players with high aspects for the upcoming season, along with mentoring possible future leaders like Tyler Ennis, Nathan Gerbe, Luke Adam and others currently on the Rochester Americans roster.