Assistant or alternate captaincy is passed around in Buffalo like a bag of potato chips; last year, Teppo Numminen, Jaroslav Spacek, Jochen Hecht and Jason Pominville rotated the 'A' for home and away contests, and this year, Pominville, Hecht, Derek Roy and Paul Gaustad took turns wearing the letter. They've gained experience and spent the sum of their careers with the Sabres, and of course, Hecht has been here for seven of his ten full National Hockey League campaigns.
Their qualifications and value cannot be doubted, but there are other candidates for this role: Mike Grier who is reminding me a lot of Ian Laperierre with his sacrificial displays and veteran leadership. Steve Montador, the off-season import who shrugged off hits and put his body in testing situations like it was a walk in the park. Toni Lydman and Henrik Tallinder, the safe and sound defensive defensemen who can contribute 20-25 points. Last but not least, Thomas Vanek, whose 'A' could stand for assassin, with his goal-scoring exploits.
You know the drill. Place your vote into the poll below, provide a reason for your choice in the comments if you'd like and include your own nominations. It's funny how a sewn-on letter can boil down to so much controversy.