BUFFALO, N.Y. - With training camp and the preseason in the rear-view mirror the focus is now firmly on the regular season and the season opener Wednesday in Detroit. But before they play a single minute of regular season hockey the team still has a couple of housekeeping items they need to take care of.
Coach Ron Rolston still needs to name a captain, and says he will do so in the next 48 hours. He also needs to trim the roster to 23, but because of injuries that are lingering from camp, some of the younger players will now get an extra look. Rolston said, "We've got some good young players there and right now for us it's about finding the mix that helps for the future but also has results too."
With injuries to Corey Tropp, Joel Armia and Marcus Foligno, Ron Rolston can hold off on any more roster moves, giving rookies Zemgus Girgensons, Johan Larsson and second year player Brian Flynn an extra chance to lock up a roster spot. "Obviously I am the extra forward," says Larsson, "so I'm just going hard every day and we'll see what happens." Girgensons added, "For me, and any young guy in this locker room, there's such a thing as made it. So I think for the young guys, you have to make it every day."
In the meantime, Rolston weighs names like Hodgson, Vanek, Ott and Ehrhoff among others as he tries to decide who wears the "C" in the 2013-2014 edition of the Buffalo Sabres. "For us it's about making sure that they're setting the standard for the younger players and the team for that matter, so that's what we'll be looking for," said Rolston.