After Brian Gionta was not resigned by the Sabres in free agency, the captaincy became available. Now, the newest Sabre captain still has not been announced. Last season, Ryan O’Reilly and Josh Gorges were the assistant captains, along with Kyle Okposo having the “A” on his jersey for select games. The Sabres have a number of players on their roster that could take over as the captain next year:
O’Reilly came to Bu alo from Colorado in a draft day trade in 2015, immediately becoming the Sabres No. 1 center. O’Reilly can do everything on the ice. He plays on the power play, penalty killing unit all while taking face-offs in critical situations. O’Reilly is already looked at as one of the leaders in the locker room with his work ethic. O’Reilly is one of the strongest, if not strongest, candidates for the captaincy.
Now this is where it gets interesting. The former second overall pick is the face of the Sabres franchise. He is the best player on the team and he is going to be called upon to carry this team. Several other young players named face of the franchise have include the only player taken before Eichel in the 2015 NHL draft, Connor McDavid.
Last year’s end-of-season press conference showed that Eichel wants to win and start holding players accountable. Throughout last season, Eichel’s play on the ice seemed the only reason the team was comptitive. Although he is only 20, Eichel could be called upon to be the captain of this team.
Now this would be interesting. The Sabres reacquired their former captain along with Martin Scandella from Minnesota. This is, however, a much di erent Buffalo team for Pominville. In fact, the only players still on the Sabres who played with him during his first stint in Buffalo were the ones traded in order to get him back (Marcus Foligno and Tyler Ennis). Before Gionta, Pominville was the Sabres’ last full season captain.
Pominville has been to playoffs with Minnesota every season since he was traded there the rst time around. The reason Pominville wouldn’t get the captaincy is that this is a whole new team. Other than Scandella, this is a bunch of young players that Pominville doesn’t really know yet being un-ware of the culture Bu alo has had versus the one he knew years ago. This is a far-fetched theory, mainly serving as an optimistic, fun narrative for those fans who remember the years from 2005-07.