This shouldn’t matter. At all. But because it’s Buffalo things have to be difficult.
The Sabres finally got around to naming their captains today and by choosing two , you know, instead of one, they managed to piss off plenty of people.
From an organization who unveiled the worst looking jersey this side of Gorton’s Fish Products in a painstaking slow process, it’s just another reason for annoyed fans to pile one. I personally don’t have that much of a problem with the decision to name Thomas Vanek and Steve Ott co-captains.
Yeah, it’s dumb to have two captains. I get it, I sat through the monthly captain rotation that Lindy Ruff instituted and I also watched as Chris Drury and Daniel Briere led the Sabres to the President’s Trophy sharing the “C”.
Ultimately this is pretty much a non-decision as Ron Rolston picking the two of the best candidates he had to wear a letter for this distinction. Why he couldn’t just choose one doesn’t make much sense, but it wasn’t a bad decision to pick the pair of Ott and Vanek. They both carry enough merit to be considered strong candidates to be named captain and were actually probably the two frontrunners along with Christian Ehrhoff.
Look at it this way, Rolston – and the organization as a whole – not only rewarded Ott for his contributions on the ice but in the locker room. He’s become a fan favorite, brings the ever popular blue collar attitude to the room and deserved recognition for that. His style of play isn’t necessarily that of a player you’d want as your captain, so perhaps that factored into the decision to keep him from wearing the “C” full time.
Vanek, on the other hand, is Buffalo’s best player. He’s one of the longest tenured players on the team, is probably the easiest choice when it comes to choosing a player to wear a letter (contract status not withstanding) and giving him a share of the captaincy could be an olive branch of sorts from management indicating they want him around.
Vanek stated that wearing the “C” doesn’t necessarily make him want to stay, but it is an indication that the team does indeed want him around. Even if it’s something that doesn’t cause him to sign tomorrow, showing him that level of respect is a step in the right direction. And if the team manages to open some eyes this season, perhaps he can be convinced to stay.
Or maybe they just want to artificially increase his trade value.