A team can never have too much leadership. Or too many captains.
That seems to sum up what the Buffalo Sabres were thinking this morning as they stitched a C on the jerseys of both Steve Ott and Thomas Vanek ahead of the 2013-14 season.
Technically, they’re not allowed to have two captains — Rule 6.1 reads “One Captain shall be appointed by each team . . . No co-Captains are permitted — but the Sabres found a loophole by tapping Vanek to serve as the captain at home games, with Ott doing the duties on the road.
This isn’t the first time the Sabres have straddled the fence. Buffalo fans remember back in 2005-07, when Danny Briere and Chris Drury shared the C as a sign of their value to the franchise, the team made consecutive appearances in the Eastern Conference Finals. Of course, both players bolted as free agents in 2007, so umm, that went well.
Coincidentally, both Vanek and Ott are slated to become free agents at the end of this season. Given their history, tou’d think it might occur to the Sabres that getting them signed to new deals before assigning each a C would be prudent, but hey, this is the same team that just went double-yellow/blue cape with their thirds.
But to their credit, the Sabres only handed out three letters today. (Christian Ehrhoff was given a permanent A). That sort of restraint is unheard of in Edmonton where they not only handed out letters like orange slices after a squirt game, but they’re apparently unsure of what the A stands for: