Welcome to what we're calling Captaincy Week, the short series of posts that will run down the top candidates to fill the currently vacant captaincy for thenext season.
The second candidate for captaincy this week is none other than Atlas himself, Thomas Vanek.
We talked yesterday about how you'd like a captain to not only exhibit leadership, but also to be one of your more talented players. Vanek is arguably the most talented player on the Sabres roster, and aside from Ryan Miller is the current face of the franchise. He's also a player who has carried the team on his shoulders for long stretches in the past, and has come up big in numerous clutch situations over the past few years.
So talent isn't a problem, and neither is locker room politics. Vanek is very well-respected amongst his teammates, and is one of the few players who answers for his team's play every night, despite not wearing the mantle of captain yet. He's already served as alternate captain for the blue and gold, and folks have been calling for him to be awarded the C for many years now.
However despite his excellent qualifications, there's one big issue with having Thomas Vanek as your captain - he might not be on the team come February. Vanek has just one year left on his contract, and trade rumors have been swirling around him since 2012. He'll certainly be one of the hottest names on the trade market this season, unless of course the Sabres can re-sign him to a long term extension.
I know there's support for a Vanek captaincy out there, but is seeing #26 with the C really worth risking the fact that the Sabres might end up trading their captain two years in a row?