NHL notes: Sabres set to open season with two captains

Buffalo Sabres' Thomas Vanek chews on his mouth guard during the third period of the NHL hockey...

Buffalo Sabres' Thomas Vanek chews on his mouth guard during the third period of the NHL hockey game against Los Angeles Kings in Berlin, October 8, 2011. (REUTERS/Thomas Peter)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:05 AM ET

The Buffalo Sabres will roll into this season with two captains in tow.

The club named wingers Thomas Vanek and Steve Ott as co-captains, along with defenceman Christian Ehrhoff as the team's alternate captain.

Vanek will have the 'C' stitched on his chest for home games while Ott will take on the role while the Sabres are on the road.

"We just thought both guys represented what we wanted," Sabres head coach Ron Rolston told the Buffalo News. "Nothing more, nothing less than that. It's all about the influence they have on the team. Those guys are big influences on the team. We thought that was the way to go."

The last time the Sabres had co-captains was 2005-07 when Daniel Briere and Chris Drury shared the leadership role.

CALLAHAN OUT FOR OPENER

New York Rangers captain Ryan Callahan will likely miss the team's season opener on the road against the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday.

"I think Thursday's a no-go," Callahan told ESPNNewYork.com following Tuesday’s practice.

Callahan, coming off left shoulder surgery in the offseason, has no timetable for his return.

Coach Alain Vigneault said last weekend he didn't expect the 28-year-old winger to open the season in Phoenix.

HAL GILL A FLYER

Veteran defenceman Hal Gill is joining his sixth NHL team.

The Philadelphia Flyers signed the 6-foot-7 defenceman to a one-year deal Tuesday worth $700,000 to add depth to their blueline.

Gill, 38, attended training camp on a professional tryout. He recorded two assists in three preseason games.

In 32 games with the Nashville Predators last season, Gill was held off the scoresheet while adding 12 penalty minutes and was a minus-3.

For his career, Gill has 184 points (36 goals, 148 assists) to go along with 960 penalty minutes through 1,102 regular season games.

RECORD STREAK TO END?

Martin Brodeur's 18-game streak to open a season with the same team -- an NHL record -- may come to an end.

The future Hall of Famer was at Devils practice on Tuesday for the second straight day after missing four days while attending his father's funeral in Montreal.

The Devils play the Penguins in Pittsburgh on Wednesday to open the season before returning home Thursday to host the New York Islanders. With back-to-back games, Brodeur is unsure if he will start on the road.

Head coach Peter DeBoer may give Brodeur an extra day off and have Cory Schneider start the opener.

"We'll play back to backs, so I'm not sure what he (DeBoer) has in the back of his mind here," Brodeur told the Bergen Record. "(We) haven't really talked about it since I'm back as far as which of the two games I'll play. For sure, I'm not going to play both."

BRIEFLY: The Carolina Hurricanes officially placed defenceman Joni Pitkanen on the long-term injured reserve list after he broke his left heel late last season.


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