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 the Buffalo Sabres next season.
Today, we'll start with a man who's not the most immediately obvious candidate for captain, but one who quietly exemplifies many of the necessary attributes that a captain should display - Christian Ehrhoff.
The captain of a sports team should be many things. They obviously need to have certain qualities of leadership, both in the locker room and on the field/ice/whatever. They should be well-respected around the league, and they should be players who can both remain calm in the face of adversity, but also show some fire when necessary.
Ehrhoff is all of these things, but most importantly, he's one of the team's most talented players, and is the biggest minute eater on the team by far. It's not enough for a captain to simply have intangibles coming out the wazoo, but they need the talent to back it up. Look at this list of 2013 NHL captains for every team - with a few exceptions here and there, the captains of each team are usually the most , or one of the most, offensively or defensively talented players on their respective squads.
As the Sabres' #1 defenseman, there's no problem saying that Ehrhoff can back up his talk with on-ice production. He has experience as a captain, previously wearing the C for the German squad in the IIHF World Championships. He's well-respected in the Sabres locker room, and while he doesn't always give the most provocative quotes in his interviews, he fits the mold of previous captains by being a reliable, professional, and talented player.
So what do you think, Sabres fans? Would you be OK seeing Ehrhoff with a C on his sweater next year, or are you hoping for someone else?