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Buffalo names Vanek, Ott co-captains

Oct 1, 2013, 11:37 AM EDT


The Buffalo Sabres have gone in a unique direction with their leadership group, naming Thomas Vanek and Steve Ott co-captains for the 2013-14 season.

According to head coach Ron Rolston, Vanek will serve as captain for home games and Ott will don the “C” for road contests. In addition, defenseman Christian Ehrhoff has been named as an alternate captain.

The decision to name Vanek and Ott co-captains isn’t entirely surprising — Vanek is the team’s most talented and leading scorer, and Ott has quickly become a fan favorite.

What is interesting, though, are their contractual statuses.

Both Ott and Vanek are pending UFAs at season’s end. Vanek has already been the subject of many a trade rumor and was non-committal about sticking though a potential rebuild in Buffalo, saying the situation wasn’t the “best-case scenario.”

Ott has been less talkative on the subject, and GM Darcy Regier said he hasn’t begun discussions about a new contract (adding that it’s “not unusual” to be silent on talks with ’14 free agents.)

Image courtesy Buffalo Sabres

  1. wallio - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:47 AM

    As I posted to the team’s facebook, what a lame gimmick. Are we that bad that we can’t name a proper captain? Apparently. They make it so hard to stay a fan of this team, I swear.

    • bigblackzaranek - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:01 PM

      So then stop being a fan… We won’t miss you…

  2. 950003cups - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:47 AM

    Steve Ott? Really? Vanek will be on the first available flight out of Buffalo. What a joke. Steve Ott is another Sean Avery, just without the purses. A low caliber, irrelevant player who likes to agitate. If I’m a Sabres fan, I’m pissed.

    • bullwinkle88 - Oct 1, 2013 at 2:20 PM

      You don’t know crap about the Sabres, Ott, or most likely, hockey in general.

      Ott is a key element of this team and most teams in the NHL would love to have him. I AM a Sabres fan and I’m happy. Too bad he isn’t a full time captain.

      • thesableo - Oct 1, 2013 at 3:33 PM

        Steve Ott is a great agitator but he crosses the line too much to be a good captain in my book. Captains need a good relationship with referees, not just their teammates and fans.

        Either Ott continues to agitate the way he does, and gets in the dog house with the officials, or he tones it back to be a better leader and loses his effectiveness. I don’t think this is a good move.

  3. hockey412 - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:49 AM

    They just can’t do anything right.

  4. hockey412 - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    Or, on second thought…is this co-captain thing just because they are still planning to actively shop Vanek all year. But still….OTT?

    • bullwinkle88 - Oct 1, 2013 at 2:20 PM

      Ott deserves it more than Vanek IMO.

    • jpelle82 - Oct 2, 2013 at 9:58 AM

      exactly, vanek will get sold at the deadline leaving ott the sole captain. thats the only logic i can see in this.

  5. sabatimus - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    OTT? Only a fool would make Steve Ott a captain.

    • bullwinkle88 - Oct 1, 2013 at 2:21 PM

      If you are that ignorant, it would be best not to post and save yourself the embarrassment.

  6. travishenryskid - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    Obviously holdovers. Both UFAs. Gives them a chance to let Hodgson or Myers or Girgensons to step up. I’m fine with it. None of the young guys are ready quite yet.

    • westinpat - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:17 PM

      Not Myers. He needs to prove himself not just this year but the next few years. If Myers continues to play poorly Ristolainen and Zadorov were drafted to be his replacement(s).

  7. khudobinawesome - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    Looks like they are trying to make Vanek and Ott feel like Buffalo is their home so they will take a discount on contract extensions to remain captains.

  8. jjregan21 - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    Ott is the guy you want leading your team? What a joke, he’s garbage. In what way would Vanek not have sufficed?

    • bigblackzaranek - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:02 PM

      Because Ott may not have the talent but I’ve yet to see him take a shift off, unlike Vanek.

    • bullwinkle88 - Oct 1, 2013 at 2:22 PM

      To say that Ott is “garbage” reveals how little you really know about this team or him in general.

      • buddysguys - Oct 1, 2013 at 2:44 PM

        no OTT is pretty much garbage he is a little better Kaleta….the type of player the league is phasing out. Maybe you should get your head out of the clouds Mr Hockey!!

  9. valoisvipers - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    I would say that these are poor picks for the Captaincy but the pickings are slim on that roster and at least this will but them some time.

  10. supercoop8 - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    Ott has a dicey past wrought with cheap shots and other agitator antics, everyone understands that. But watching a few Sabres games last year, games against Boston and other divisional contests, I saw Ott give more than almost everyone on the Ice whether it was killing penalties or hitting everything; few players consistently put out that effort. If he calms down his antics I don’t see a better player to lead the Sabre and show work ethic to the youngsters. If I was a sabres fan I would be more offended at Vanek getting the C, he is a guy that has no problem taking a night off on the ice and it seems like he already has one foot out of Buffalo.

    • bullwinkle88 - Oct 1, 2013 at 2:24 PM

      I agree with you…I’m not happy with Vanek in general. But I’m sure he will be gone soon.

    • thesableo - Oct 1, 2013 at 3:36 PM

      Yeah, but if he “calms down his antics”, will he still be the same player? No one can answer that until they see him play, but my guess would be no. A guy like that needs freedom; a captain doesn’t have it.

  11. bildomac07 - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    I just don’t understand why you would even bother naming a captain at all if these were your two choices? I believe it’s possible that if no decision was made that a leader would have emerged rather than just slapping a C on both these guys and saying here goes nothing! There’s been many instances of a team entering a season without a captain and then making a decision down the line, just feels like Buffalo is winging it and is a team without an identity or direction at this point.

  12. pizzaman77 - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    Vanek looks so enthused

  13. mshantz22 - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    I suppose it’s better than doing what Vancouver did a few years back when they named their goalie captain.

  14. deeleeh - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    Want to congratulate Steve Ott, I’m not surprised that he’s a fan favorite in Buffalo, he is truly missed in Dallas. It’s obvious that all the negative comments about him are from fans of opposing teams which just goes to show how well Steve does his job!

  15. jettaron91vw - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    Steve “go eff yourself” Ott.

  16. bauxjangles - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    Steve Ott gets to be co-captain because he’s a fan favorite? Since when do the fans get to dictate who the best leader for the team? Even if that’s the case, they should get that

    • mcguenther13 - Oct 1, 2013 at 5:21 PM

      It’s not just because he is a fan favorite clown! It’s due to the fact since day one of walking into the locker room he has been a leader and player that holds EVERYONE accountable……won’t take any BS unlike so many other pansy a$$ captains we’ve had in the past

  17. bauxjangles - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    Steve Ott gets to be co-captain because he’s a fan favorite? Since when do fans get to dictate who the best leader for the team is? Even if that’s the case, they should get that luxury taken away if their answer is Steve Ott.

  18. buddysguys - Oct 1, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    omg i have never seen a guy wearing a C that has done a cheap shot or been a loud mouth pest…are you kidding me right now? People are acting as if wearing a C on your shirt really changes the way your team plays. If they suck they will suck no matter who wears the C. C’s are about who the team wants talkingo the media after lossesmore than who is “the leader” in the locker room.

    The nerd Pegula probably sat down with his daughters and made the picks.

    • bullwinkle88 - Oct 1, 2013 at 2:25 PM

      I hope you’re not as really as dumb as you sound.

      • buddysguys - Oct 1, 2013 at 2:33 PM

        why because the C means absolutely nothing in the WIN LOSS column or in hockey this day and age especially. The freakin Oilers gave 6 A’s to people, its a joke i dont want to have to put a letter on a player to identify a captain.

    • bigblackzaranek - Oct 1, 2013 at 2:49 PM

      Never heard of Ed Jovanovski?

    • cantphaseme - Oct 1, 2013 at 2:52 PM

      If the “C means absolutely nothing in the WIN LOSS column” then wtf are you crying about? STFU and go back to the Bruins forum.

      “C’s are about who the team wants talkingo the media after lossesmore than who is “the leader” in the locker room.” This right here is your ticket to stfu because you don’t know jack and that’s obvious.

      • buddysguys - Oct 1, 2013 at 3:38 PM

        im not bruins fan first off….so idk what the hell that has to do with anything. 2nd all you did was copy and paste what i said….do you know how a message board works? You write your own comment and opinion. Figure it out moron.

      • buddysguys - Oct 1, 2013 at 3:39 PM

        you must have an OTT jersey

    • cantphaseme - Oct 1, 2013 at 5:07 PM

      Because all you did was contradict yourself nimrod. Typical Buffalo fan that cries about everything. Either stfu or go watch figure skating. Everyone in Buffalo thinks they deserve to be the coach of both the Bills and the Sabres. Then you want to talk crap about Pegula……be happy we have a team dumbass. Sit down and stfu already.

  19. credible316 - Oct 1, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    Hang in there Thomas, it’s only a matter of time!

  20. cantphaseme - Oct 1, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    Ott is a great choice for the C. No one on the team shows more heart and grit in a game than him. Vanek also deserves the C. They are both Vets on a young team. No brainer on this one.

  21. thesportsjudge - Oct 1, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    Since this IS the Buffalo organization we are talking about, I’m kinda surprised that John Scott and Patrick Kaleta weren’t named the A.

    Well, they are A-blanks, but that seems the easy/childish joke to make.

  22. bgrillz - Oct 1, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    Vanek is a token captain, as he will be traded this deadline anyways. So Ott will just assume full time duties after that.

    • bullwinkle88 - Oct 1, 2013 at 7:36 PM

      I think that’s the plan…and it looks like a good one.

  23. drewsylvania - Oct 2, 2013 at 4:20 AM

    A cheap-shot artist and trade bait. Co-captains.


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