The Buffalo Sabres
on Thursday named veteran forward Jason Pominville
the team's captain for the 2011-12 campaign.
The team also named Thomas Vanek
, Drew Stafford
, Paul Gaustad
and Derek Roy
"This whole group from Gaus to Van, to Rosie and Staff ... you guys have grown up together as a group and we have to push each other to higher levels," Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff
said. "We have to take the pain of the last two years in the playoffs and push ourselves past that and be the team that can get all the way."
Pominville replaces Craig Rivet
, who was traded last season.
"It's an honor to represent the team and the guys on and off the ice and I think this year is going to be a great year for us but to make that happen we have to hold each other accountable," Pominville said after coach Lindy Ruff
presented him his jersey. "We have to push each other to be better every game, regardless of whether you have a letter on your jersey or not. With the committment (owners) Terry and Kim Pegula have made to the team, the city and to the guys here, it's our turn to give back to them and there's no better place to do it than in Buffalo."
The Sabres will open the season against the Anaheim Ducks
on Friday in Helsinki at 1 p.m. ET (TSN2).
Pominville, who is entering his eighth season, has 145 goals and 358 points in 459 games for the Sabres. He also had a string of 335 consecutive games played end last season when he missed nine games with a concussion. He returned to post 22 goals and 30 assists in 73 games.
His postseason was cut short after five games due to a severed tendon in his leg suffered in Game 5 of the first round against the Philadelphia Flyers
that required surgery
This will be the second time Pominville has worn the captain's "C." When the Sabres rotated the captaincy during the 2007-08 season, he was captain in March and April 2008.
The Sabres were 16-5-0 when Pominville scored a goal last season and 22-9-4 when he collected a point. When the 28-year-old right wing was out of the lineup, the Sabres were 2-5-2 in the regular season and 0-2 in the playoffs.
Pominville's appointment leaves just two teams without captains -- the Florida Panthers
and Colorado Avalanche
Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale