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by Kevin Snow / Buffalo Sabres
HELSINKI, FINLAND --- It was about this time six years ago when Jason Pominville’s days as a member of the Buffalo Sabres organization could’ve been over. Pominville was placed on waivers prior to the start of the 2005-06 season, but he eventually cleared and started the season with the AHL’s Rochester Americans.

My, how times have changed.

When Pominville skates onto the ice at Hartwall Areena tonight for Buffalo’s season opener against the Anaheim Ducks, he will do as the 16th full-time captain in franchise history. The announcement was made by head coach Lindy Ruff at a players-only dinner last night.

Pominville isn’t known for being the loudest player on the team, but he believes that his voice will be just one of many that will provide direction.

“I think we have a lot of different type of characters on the team. I’m not the only guy that’s going to step up and say things. I might be more of a one-on-one guy, just kind of going up to the guy and talking to him.

“I don’t know if the yelling and screaming method still works in today’s game, I think we’ll see a little bit of both on this team. Hopefully we don’t have to see any of it. There are different guys that can do it in different ways.”

Ruff said the decision to name Pominville as captain was made by the coaching staff, and even owner Terry Pegula had some input. Ruff is confident they made the right choice.

“In the end it was an easy decision. Jason prepares himself well for games, he’s a consummate pro and even the way he’s come back from injuries say as a lot. He’s well respected among his teammates. I think the way he plays speaks for itself. The decision turned out to be the right one.”

Mike Weber will be a healthy scratch for tonight’s game, along with Matt Ellis. Ruff says that Marc-Andre Gragnani’s contributions on the power play are an invaluable asset, but he also knows that Weber can still play an important role as well.

“It’s extremely hard taking Mike out of the lineup. We knew that when we had seven defensemen, we’re going to have one really disappointed player. But there will be situations when we can utilize Weber, and we’ll need our top six to play well for us.”
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