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Sabres name Girgensons, Okposo alternate captains

The Sabres are going without a formal captain for the start of the 2021-22 season.
Credit: AP
Buffalo Sabres forward Kyle Okposo (21) celebrates his game winning goal with forward Zemgus Girgensons (28) during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Winnipeg Jets, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

BUFFALO, N.Y. — With the departure of the primary veterans off the Sabres roster, leadership among a relatively young group of players has been a question.  

Tuesday, the Sabres started to answer it by naming Zemgus Girgensons and Kyle Okposo as alternate captains. 

Sabres Head coach Don Granato gave the reasoning behind the decision. 

"Girgensons and Okposo would the two older guys and more established players that we have.  Very confident people. Incredible people... and obviously very capable on the ice. When I think of leadership right now, those guys have great leadership already."

Granato said he thinks he has good leadership among the younger players, but that he would continue to let their respective games evolve before assigning anything in terms of leadership roles.

The Sabres are going without a captain to start the 2021-22 season after stripping Jack Eichel of the captaincy as he continues his standoff with the franchise over the type of neck surgery he should have and is awaiting a trade. 

The Sabres open the season Thursday night at home against Montreal.