Sabres Experiencing “C” Change

“C change.” Get it?


“Sea change.” It’s not funny when I have to explain it. Moving on…

Say what you want about the latest Sabres moves making the team grittier. There’s a different dynamic shift happening at the FNC, and it’s one that can have a much larger impact in the locker room, and on the ice.

Remember last year, when the great debate was “which one of these Old Core guys deserves the C?” As a fan base, we never came to a consensus on that one. Eventually, Lindy Ruff held his unemphatic little Letter Luncheon and handed the C to Pommers, and the A to the rest of the Old Core. I like Pommers – he’s as consistent as they come on the ice, and I love a guy who leads by example – but Jason just isn’t the general that troops follow into the gates of Hell.

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Our captain, by default?

Heck, remember when Craig Rivet arrived, and the team (including said “Old Core”) voted to name him captain instantaneously? Goodness, that said volumes about the lack of leadership character on the roster.

Call the Sabres of seasons past “soft” if you want to. Fair enough. But besides the addition of sandpaper, it’s time to recognize Regier’s success at adding some heavyweight captain material to this team, both in the draft and on the markets.

We began “the conversation” fittingly on Twitter last night:

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After a little digging, we added to the list:

  • Marcus Foligno – was captain in Sudbury
  • Zemgus Girgensons – captain in Dubuque, highest-touted leader of the 2012 draft class
  • Brayden McNabb – captain in Kootenay

I stopped digging there, realizing how far the leadership dynamic has shifted since that luncheon last year. In a small space of time (and some work in previous years’ drafts), the Sabres have gone from a team of followers to a cast-iron squad of “Follow me, boys!” trench warriors.

The added grit is going to be nice. But the addition of so much depth of strength of character is really the thing that will right the ship and get us sailing back into the playoffs. Just the sea change we needed.

As usual: well played, Darcy. Well played.

Go Sabres.

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