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Life after Vanek: Ruff returns to Buffalo, Ott named full-time captain

Oct 28, 2013, 1:25 PM EDT

LindyRuff Getty Images

Monday night at the First Niagara Center promises to be one filled with emotion.

Sabres fans will get their first look at Matt Moulson — or, depending how you look at it, their first look at a Thomas Vanek-less team — and welcome back the winningest coach in franchise history.

Oh yeah, they’ll also have a new full-time captain.

Those are the three major storylines as the Stars take on the Sabres tonight… so let’s begin with Lindy Ruff, as he faces the club he led to 571 wins over the span of 16 seasons.

“I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about it,” Ruff told the Buffalo News over the weekend. “It’s going to be great to walk into the building and say hello to old faces. It really is. I’ve got a lot of old friends there, a lot of good memories. We had a lot of great hockey in there.

“It’ll be a good day. I want to see our team play really well, and it’ll be a good day.”

Ruff did say, however, his primary focus for tonight’s game is getting the Stars to play better on the road. Dallas is just 1-4-0 away from American Airlines this year, with its lone win coming back on Oct. 11 in Winnipeg.

Now, onto Ott.

Earlier this year, the Sabres made waves with the unorthodox announcement they’d be rolling with co-captains this season — Vanek and Ott — with Vanek serving at home and Ott on the road.

(Buffalo’s former captain, Jason Pominville, described the split as “weird.”)

With Vanek now on Long Island the full-time duties fall to Ott, something the club made official on Monday. He’ll be the home ice captain for the first time this season tonight.

Finally, we’d be remiss without mentioning the newest Sabre. Moulson was on a line with Cody Hodgson during the morning skate, suggesting they’ll play alongside each other tonight against the Stars.

  1. newjerseydevilsfanpuckcollection - Oct 28, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    Ott as the “full time” captain….still sounds odd to me.

    However, as your leader Ott has set a great example for two of their players already….Kaleta and Scott.

    Nuff said.

  2. ethanmacleod1685 - Oct 28, 2013 at 1:36 PM

    If Ott is your captain, you know you have a bad team

    • newjerseydevilsfanpuckcollection - Oct 28, 2013 at 1:42 PM

      I am now awaiting for the New York Rangers to pull back Avery from retirement and naming him their new Captain.

      Thats how I feel about Ott being the co-captain, and now the “full time” captain.

  3. sjsblitz - Oct 28, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    Will they be wearing the infamous Third Jerseys? It would top the night off if they were

    • thailer35 - Oct 28, 2013 at 2:20 PM

      Today would go down in history as the day the proverbial music died in First Niagra Center.

  4. matt14gg - Oct 28, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    I just have a quick question: what did Matt Moulson do to deserve this?

  5. charlieconway96 - Oct 28, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    Steve Ott’s first act as captain, demanding that all Buffalo players play while having actual sabres strapped to their hips. Just incase the game gets “real”.

    • kennyadler1 - Oct 28, 2013 at 6:25 PM

      Haha!! Thats pretty funny!!

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