But what if the Sabres don't re-sign Steve Ott? I think sometimes we assume this to be automatic, when the truth is many teams will be bidding for his services. I'd could see a team like Detroit making a bid for Ott. A lot of people don't know this about Ott, but he did grow up a huge Red Wings fan being from the other side of the Detroit river in Windsor, and he's also a die hard Tigers fan. Detroit does need a guy like him in their lineup, so thats something to think about.
What about back to Dallas? Dallas is a team on the rise, and he was a huge fan favorite there and knows coach Lindy Ruff.
Steve Ott is turning 32 in August, and although he did express his desire to remain in Buffalo, there's also the strong possibility that he recognizes his career is winding down. How much good hockey does Otter have left?
And lastly, how much money is Steve Ott going to command on the open market? Im not really interested in a 4 year 16 million dollar contract for player like Ott, which is probably what it could be? I think Jarrett Stoll is most comparable, which he got 3 years for 9.7 million, and that may have been discounted for LA because of their talent level. Does Steve Ott give Buffalo a discount, or does he want Dave Bolland money at 5 million a season? I wouldn't even go north of 4 for Ott If thats the case, we may as well sign Bolland, at least he's younger and has two Stanley Cup Championship rings.
So for Captain, if the Sabres don't re-sign Ott, or get Callahan, I do think Tyler Ennis is a very underrated captain prospect for the Buffalo Sabres. I did just do a mock offseason post where I traded Ennis, and other considerable assets to acquire Evander Kane. But that doesn't mean I don't like Ennis. I love Tyler Ennis as a player, but the justification for my mock Evander Kane trade was adding a Goal Scoring Power Forward which is very rare to come by. But, I understand that there were definite reasons why people balked at such a deal, and it was a risky one.
Tyler Ennis would make a very formidable captain for the Sabres for the following reasons:
First, Ted Nolan certainly respects what Ennis as a player. He's one of the many guys on the Sabres who performed better once Nolan became coach.
In fact, he's the poster child for Sabres who performed better under Nolan.He had 21 goals last season, and only 2 of those goals were under Ron Rolston.
Second, he was on the ice more than any Sabres forward last season, and was productive in the process.
Obviously Ennis doesn't strike me as a "rah rah" vocal kind of Captain, but if he were captain he'd be lead by example. Call me crazy, but no matter what kind of Captain you are, I believe in order to "lead", you need to be on the ice to do so and you need to be one of your teams top ice time loggers which Ennis is. In that ice time given, you need to produce, which he has. He has more goals and points over the past 3 seasons than any other Sabres player on the roster which is a wash because his only competition would be Cody Hodgson and Drew Stafford.
Third, he just might be you're most marketable player, aside from Tyler Myers......for now
It does help that Tyler Ennis is a fan favorite here and he does have some marketability. He's got the most unique "look" on the team with his size, unique jersey number in #63, and he is arguably the most recognizable player on the team. "Ennis the menace" arguably is the best nickname on the team right now.
Not to mention, it speaks volumes, that you are already hearing younger hockey players with similar builds, compare themselves to Tyler Ennis, and not many players compare themselves to someone who sucks.
But Ted Nolan decides who the Captains are, and he doesn't give a you know what about marketability and fan favorites, but the latter point on players comparing their games to Ennis speaks volumes on respect. Tyler Ennis is starting to gain some respect around the NHL from fans and players.
Fourth, Tyler Ennis is a true class act, and always has been dating back to his junior hockey days
Two years in a row, Tyler Ennis was voted WHL's most sportsmanlike player and has maintained his sportsman like play in the pro ranks.
This was a trait that was shared with the last Buffalo Sabres captain Jason Pomminville.
Fifth, his teammates recognized him as the Sabres MVP, this is combined with the fact that there are few other formidable Captain candidates on this team.
Tyler Ennis is easily your best player right now on the roster and also the 4th longest tenured Sabre on the team. The other 3 canidates would be Drew Stafford Christian Erhoff and Tyler Myers. Drew Stafford could be the next Sabre out the door, and is he leadership material?
It also helps that he's has a reputation as a competitor, doesn't shy away from contract (he had more hits last year than Drew Stafford, and he's about 50 pounds lighter, and he scored 8 of his goals while the team was behind by 1.
He also been forced to play out of position from the left wing the past couple years due to the Sabres lack of depth at center. He was forth worst in the NHL in faceoffs at 38%. Ennis is creative offensively, and very skilled, but that skill is negated when consistently loses draws. It kills this teams puck possession stats, and scoring opportunites.
Help at center to allow Ennis to move back to the left wing, would be beneficial for this team.
Lastly, I'd like to see the Captaincy go to someone who's actually going to be here a few years, and not somebody who's going to be traded at the deadline like Drew Stafford might?
I dont see any reason in the world why Tyler Ennis would not be with the Sabres next season, unless it was in a deal to get a top young player.
I think we all agree, Tyler Ennis is a player the team can rebuild with, and I also believe he can be apart of the Sabres leadership core of the future.
I have gotten no indication that the Sabres are interested in trading Tyler Ennis right now.
My Pick for Captain:
My pick for the next Sabres Captain assuming Ryan Callahan or Steve Ott are not brought in is not just Tyler Ennis.
My vote goes for a Tyler Myers and Tyler Ennis Co-Captaincy.
I focused and argued more for Ennis because I think he rarely seems to get brought up in the discussion whereas, Tyler Myers has since the moment he was drafted. Myers always has been billed as "future captain". That billing may have changed to some fans, but not me.
Both of these guys were drafted in 2008, both of these guys are the Sabres two most marketable players, and most popular players.
\Giving the "C" to Myers on the other hand says to me, we're giving you a vote a confidence. We believe in you. It say's, we're counting on you to step it up, and raise your level of play. Despite is inconsistency, Tyler Myers is still one of the Sabres top 2 or 3 players easily, and I would give him the "C" to see how he responds. Does he rise to the occasion?
No matter what you think of Tyler Myers, I think he should at least get an "A" next season, and as far as captain is concerned, he's a much better choice than Drew Stafford.
If you hadn't guessed, I definitely undervalued Tyler Ennis as a player to the Sabres when I made my intial mock Evander Kane trade and I most certainly was swayed in favor of not offering such a deal. I'd most likely offer Stafford, Armia (or Grigorenko), a mid level prospect and a top 8 protected Blues first instead for the record. I do recall Winnipeg once being interested in Stafford as well in a rumored Burmistov deal.
I think giving the "C" to Ennis says we reward hard work, and I believe Ennis has been earning it in Brian Gionta fashion. I'd be all for seeing the 2008 drafted "Tylers" as Co-Captains
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