Leading The Way: Eight New Captains You Might See Next Season

By Skylar Peters
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April 23, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Buffalo Sabres left wing Thomas Vanek (26) at the face-off circle against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Buffalo Sabres won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Sabres: Tomas Vanek

The Buffalo Sabres were one of the league’s worst in 2013, And it doesn’t seem to look any better for them in 2013-14. The team needs to head in a new direction, and 29-year-old Austrian forward Thomas Vanek can be the starting point.

Vanek was the lone bright spot in a dark year for the Sabres, and he led the league in scoring and points for nearly two months. He finished the year with 41 points in 38 games.

Vanek is the only player on the Sabres that could handle the load, with young guns Cody Hodgson and Tyler Myers still needing more experience. Vanek was rumored to be on his way out of Buffalo, but those have since subsided.

If the Sabres want to name Vanek their leader, they will have to re-sign him, as he is entering the last year of his contract. If they are hesitant on that, the Sabres will likely forge ahead without a captain.