Archive for the 'Rotating “C”' Category

There’s A New Sheriff in Town….

……his name is Craig Rivet, and he’s the boss of you.

Rivet C

Perhaps it’s time someone put a picture of him in a Sabres uniform on the Sabres website.

For some reason this makes me laugh really hard.  After all that fussing around with the rotating C last year, Lindy wound up giving it permanently to the guy who’s only been on the team for 17 seconds.  Lindy was all, “You players want a permanent captain?  Fine.  You can have one, but it’s not going to be your cuddly BFF Pommerdoodle, it’s going to be the scary new guy AND HE WILL PUNCH YOU DIRECTLY IN THE FACE IF YOU DON’T WATCH IT.”

UPDATE: Whaaa?  It turns out that this was a TEAM VOTE!  So, basically the Sabres are saying, “Um, all that stuff we said last year about ‘tons of leadership in the room’?  Funny, thing.  Yeah.  See, the truth is, well…..that was all bullhonky.  We were TOTALLY freaked out last year.”

I guess there really was a leadership vaccum last season.  Thank goodness we’ve got a new guy on the team that everyone respects.  (Nice work, Darcy. *fist bump*)

You Guys, Let’s Not Lose Our Heads Here. C is for COOKIE, Not Captain.

Of all the things that we as fans can analyze about a team, I think the “leadership” issue is probably the one we understand the least.  To fully grasp the complex and delicate makeup of the locker room we would need to have personal, first hand knowledge of how the team relates to one another.  We as fans do NOT have that personal knowledge.  We just don’t.  Neither do reporters.

I love Lindy Ruff, but there are lots of times when I feel justified in questioning his choices.  Questioning the coaching is one of the fundamental rights of fandom.  It’s great fun to squawk about how Andrew Peters should be fired (because he should), and how Max should be whipped with chains until he stops putting everyone offside (because it’s not that hard to skate in a straight line), and how Staffy should be encouraged to eat more brains if that’s what he requires in order to stop sucking (because it’d be great if he didn’t suck all year), but when it comes to the captaincy issue I am perfectly happy to be all, “I trust Lindy.”

I’m willing to entertain all types of theories about who should get the C, but the one thing I absolutely refuse to entertain is that anyone outside of that locker room has the slightest idea of what’s best for the team.

Take Goose for example.  We fans have anointed Paul Gaustad as the next great leader, but what if Goose is just a quiet guy?  What if Goose gets stressed out easily and he’s got his hands full just trying to be the best third/fourth liner he can be? Just because we fans think Goose seems “leader-y” doesn’t make it true; and just because we fans really love the concept of the C, doesn’t mean that it’s an actual indicator of effective leadership.

My feeling is that one of three things is happening:

1. There is still no clear leader on the team.  If this is the case then I think Lindy is right to continue searching for the correct captain.

2. There is a clear leader but he doesn’t require a C on his jersey to lead, and Lindy thinks the rotating letters are a genuinely useful tool to motivate certain (younger, slag-faced whore-ier) members of the team.  Does an actual leader really care that much about a C-shaped piece of fabric on his chest?

3.  Lindy is toying with our emotions for sport, and a captain will be named before opening night.  This is where I’d put my money if I were a betting man.  This would also be kind of hilarious and badass which are two qualities that I think Lindy has in spades.

Look, I want a Chris Drury-style captain too, but Chris Drury moved to New York and became the captain of the boring-est team in hockey, and he’s never coming back, and slapping a C on someone won’t turn him into Chris Drury.

Allow me to demonstrate:

Charlotte C

She still refuses to be defensively responsible with the puck in her own end.

Kenley C

If Chris Neil ran at her head I would applaud his gumption.  I would not fight him.

The next time Lindy puts Andrew Peters on the ice in a non-fighting situation I’ll call for his head, like I always do, but I completely trust him to handle the captaincy issue correctly.   I believe that eventually there will be a permanent C awarded this season, but if there isn’t it’s not the end of the world.

If Lindy doesn’t find the right guy for the job, it’s because the job just isn’t as important as we would like to believe.

Captain March

It’s way too late to be awake and blogging, but I wanted to clear the air from that sad, sad post from last night. The truth is, I don’t really believe in curses, so I’m not too concerned about the long term ramifications of my bad-luck-iness. I AM superstitious, but I’m that kind of fanciful superstitious that is just as likely to believe in nonsensical good luck as I am to believe in nonsensical bad luck. My theory is that my current bad luck is part of some larger scheme of good luck. Sure, the Sabres lost yesterday, but maybe that loss set in motion a series of events that will lead to the Sabres winning the Cup next year. If watching “Lost” has taught me anything, it’s taught me that we can’t possibly understand the many ways in which we are effecting the future. So, when the Sabres win the Cup next year, and Nolan Pratt accepts his Conn Smythe award, and in his speech he says, “You know, everything changed after that loss to the Capitals last year in March,” I’m going to need all of you to come back here and thank me for all of the wonderful wonderful luck I’ve brought to the franchise.

The bottom line is that I’m not going to quit going to Sabres games, so there’s no point in dwelling on my bad-luck-itude. What I need to do is counteract my bad-luck-itude with some good-luck-itude. I think the area where I have the most potential to increase my luck in the shortest amount of time is in the “fashion” department. I’ve been going to games in street clothes, people. It’s redonk. I hereby promise that the next time I attend a Sabres game I will be wearing AT LEAST a Sabres t-shirt, if not a jersey.

In other news……

Look! Pommerdoodle is all grown up! He’s Captain March! Hoooray!

labradoodle C

Captain February

It’s Yo-Yo again! I totally called this one, guys. It would seem that Lindy is zeroing in on his permanent captain, and I’ve got no beef with his selection. Jochen Hecht is a sexy, passionate warrior. That’s all you need to know. I also like Mair with the A. Nice one, Mairsy.

I am, however, pouting on Goose’s behalf today.

At first glance, giving Soupy an “A” was really upsetting, even without Goose in the equation, but then Pookie pointed out that the Sabres are probably just trying to make Soupy look nice and tantalizing for the trade block. I’m taking a lot of comfort in this theory. It makes perfect sense that the Sabres would want to inflate Soupy’s perceived value, and so, I have decided to endorse this plan, even though it leaves Goose without his letter.

As a favor to the Sabres, I have taken the time to write up a profile that Darcy can send out to prospective traders.

Campbell With Bow

Brian Campbell is an explosive “Offensive defenseman” with a fun loving personality and a killer smile. This two-time All-Star is sure to be a fan favorite and a winner in the hearts children and adults alike. Only his “Souper”-sized personality can overshadow his bone crunching hits. Just ask RJ Umberger! Brian is a leader both on the ice and in the lockerroom. Three times in the last year he has been awarded a letter by coach Lindy Ruff in the Sabres’ rotating captaincy system. If your team is looking for a top defensemen to add a spark to your offense, and a spring to your defense, look no further than Brian “Soupy” Campbell!

No fatties.

Captain January

Hooray! Jaro Spacek is the captain for January. I loooove Spacho. So sweetly growly! So brutish! So unintentionally hilarious! So not Soupy!

Jah. My turn for C.

Not only was Spacho tapped for the C just in time for the Ice Bowl, but he has a new son, born yesterday. It’s been a good week for Jaro. I think Spacek’s return to prominence on the ice is a really nice story. By the end of the playoffs last spring, he was hardly allowed on the ice at all, and now, he’s the captain of the team. His will be a nice leadership perspective for a young and inconsistent team, and I’m happy for him.

I’m totally poomerdoodling over Pommerdoodle’s A, too. Good boy, Pommers. I hope that Goose gets a letter sooner or later, so that I can honk in celebration (and also because he deserves it). HOOONK!


Captain December

For some reason, when Toni Lydman gives weird, spaced-out interviews, I think, “Heh. I bet he’d be really fun at a party,” but when Brian Campbell gives weird, spaced-out interviews, I furrow my brow and think, “Is he alright? Is Soupy having a stroke right now?”

Do not be alarmed. He’s perfectly fine.

Brian Campbell, I wish you well this month. Hopefully the Sabres will win all of their games under your captainly administrations. If you need anything, I’ll be over here, eying you suspiciously cheering you on.

Captain November

Scene: Coach Lindy Ruff is sitting in his office with Assistant Coach (and super hottie) James Patrick.

(bubblebubblebubble.)  (Lindy Ruff takes a huge bong hit.)

Lindy:(holding smoke in) So, Jimmy.

(long exhalation, creating huge cloud)

Lindy: (lower voice) We have to choose a captain for November.

(hands bong to J.P, who takes a long rip.)

James: Oh, that’s right. Is it November already? (stares blankly off into space for a few minutes.) Who’d you have in mind?

Lindy: (giggling) We could give it to Toni. Heehehahhe.

James: HAHAHAHA! Can you imagine?! Hehehhhehehe. heheahhaha!

(five minutes of laughing ensues)

Lindy: (wiping tears from eyes) No, seriously though. I want to give it to Toni.

James: Hehehe. Really? Why?

Lindy: I want him to learn to lead. I like the kid. (Takes bong hit. Exhales.) Plus, it’ll be funny as hell.

James: (giggling) Sounds good to me. (long pause) If only Chris Drury could see us now!

Lindy: (gleefully) Ah, fuck him. This is gonna be awesome.


I would once again like to declare my unbridled LOVE for the rotating captaincy. I could not possibly be more pleased with the thought of Captain Toni Lydman. Do you realize that after every game in November we are going to be treated to Toni’s weirdo assessment of the situation? A solid month of his mumbly, goofy interviews! Of all of the guys on the team, Toni Tone Tony seemed like a pretty unlikely candidate for the “C”. I mean, he had a fairly rough start, he is obviously not a natural leader, and he looks like this. I feel like Lindy Ruff has been reading The Willful Caboose, and now he is making decisions with the sole purpose of amusing me. Thanks Lindy!

(If this month goes well, I am SO pulling the trigger on a throwback Lydman jersey.)

Captain October

It looks like the Sabres have decided on a monthly rotating captaincy starting with German cutie-pie (and near KFS), Jochen Hecht. I am in full support of the rotating captaincy, mostly because I think there isn’t a clear captain right now. It makes me sad when guys lose their captaincy, so rather than hand the reigns over to the wrong guy for the year, I’d rather they took their time and wait for the best captain to reveal himself. In the wake of all the ruckus surrounding the departures of the last captains, the entire role needs a makeover before the next “C” is handed out for any real length of time. I think the process of sniffing out the new captain could be very enjoyable to witness as it promotes healthy competition and rewards for good behavior. Plus, none of this really matters because everyone knows that in the Sabres lockerroom, Ryan Miller is the boss of you.


In a press conference this morning, Lindy Ruff revealed that the first captain, Jochen Hecht, was chosen by the team in a secret ballot vote. It has not been widely reported in the press, but the individual Sabres have been engaged in active campaigns to promote themselves for the job of Captain for the duration of the preseason. An unnamed informant has given TWC special access to the campaign materials of the top candidates. The information obtained by The Willful Caboose is a shocking and revealing glimpse of the emotional make-up of the 2007-08 Sabres.

Of all the Sabres, Derek Roy campaigned the hardest with his teammates. His campaign slogan was, “A Vote for Roy is a Vote for Joy”, which was widely considered a blunder as the slogan did not test well in polls with males ages 18-35. However, Derek’s popularity in the locker room took a dramatic turn for the better following his extraordinary preseason play. Poised to ascend to the captaincy, Roy made a critical error in the final hours of his campaign when he scorned Nickelback in favor of Avril Lavigne on his morning to chose the music for the workout room. The controversy effectively ended Roy’s bid for the October captaincy, but he should be considered a strong candidate in future months. Of all the Sabres, Roy has displayed the most dedication to becoming a strong leader.

Jason Pominville entered the election on a dare from Ryan Miller. He campaigned on a platform to bring better vending machines into the player’s lounge, and to organize a Sabres vs. Bills charity capture-the-flag tournament.

Drew Stafford promised that if elected, he would put an end to the recent rash of animal vivisection plaguing the Sabres locker room. Unfortunately for his campaign, his promise was perceived by many as a veiled threat.

Henrik Tallinder vowed to provide the team with “more hookers and blow” if elected captain.

Brian Campbell declared that he would use his influence as team captain to further raise awareness for sweating, and sweat related issues. His candidacy took a major hit when Andrew Peters (on behalf of the Roy campaign) began running attack ads questioning Campbell’s true dedication to the cause. “Soupy benefits from sweat, while the innocent victims of WNY suffer.”

Jochen Hecht, ultimately the victor, ran a very simple campaign. He sent the following email to his teammates:

Subject: Slag-faced Whores
From: imnotjochen@sabres.hky
Sent: 7/01/07, 6:30pm
To: Sabres Teammates

Dru and Danny are whores. When i see them, I will spear them.



As you can see, the search for the next captain has already been embroiled in controversy and intrigue. Stay tuned to The Willful Caboose for full coverage of this exciting, unfolding story.

…A Blog About the Buffalo Sabres

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I can be reached at: willfulcaboose [at] gmail [dot] com

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