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Toni awarded: Lydman next captain

Toni Lydman doesn't talk much, but it's worth listening when he does.

That's part of the reason he's the Buffalo Sabres captain for November.

Lydman was awarded the "C" on Wednesday as part of coach Lindy Ruff's rotating captaincy. Jochen Hecht was October's captain by a vote of his peers, but the coaching staff decided on Lydman.

"We had some good candidates, and often the choice would be guys who get points and stuff," Ruff said, "but we'd looked at it on a game-to-game basis of who we thought was probably the steadiest."

The 30-year-old Lydman is one of the Sabres' elder statesmen, and he's surprised to have reached that stage already.

"That is different, and I don't mind it at all," he said. "It's a good spot to be in, I guess. It means you've been around a little bit. If I can help anybody in any way, I'd be happy to."

Like Hecht, Lydman is a laid-back guy in the dressing room. That won't change. He'll happily deliver advice, but he's not going to offer it unsolicited. He'll leave that to Henrik Tallinder, Ryan Miller and Jaroslav Spacek.

"Me and Jochen are kind of the same when it comes to being vocal in the room," Lydman said. "We're quiet. It's more Hank and Millsie doing the talking, and Spacho the yelling.

"There's a lot of guys that talk before the game. I don't feel like I should jump in there now. I'm not going to change my ways because that would be fake if all of a sudden I turn into something I'm not."

What Lydman is, is funny. He wore the "C" during a preseason game in Toronto and joked, "It should be an 'I' for Idiot." He topped that Wednesday when asked if he had previously been a captain.

"I believe as a junior in Finland at some point," he said, "but that's a long time ago, and I've got more body hair now."

Hecht and defenseman Brian Campbell will be the alternate captains.


The Sabres face the Boston Bruins tonight in TD Banknorth Garden. It's their first look at the improved division rival that sits 6-4. It's also the first look at Zdeno Chara this season. Miller described him as the Shaquille O'Neal of the hockey world.

"Shaq's like 7-foot, 300 [pounds], and Chara's 6-9, 270. It's roughly the same build," Miller said. "He's a big man.

"You've got a guy that's hard to get around, hard to play against, is tough and has a mean streak. It's something where we're going to have to see how brave our forwards are."


The Bruins will be without forward Patrice Bergeron, who suffered a concussion last weekend when hit into the boards from behind by Philadelphia's Randy Jones. Jones was suspended two games.

"I didn't think it was out of the category of overly aggressive," Ruff said. "That was the point I tried to make [Tuesday] morning was that [the] defenseman probably has to wait until Bergeron is tighter to the wall before he makes that initial push. It wasn't one of those where you come running from a long ways away to hit somebody, it's just that Bergeron was defenseless at the time.

"Forwards now in today's game put themselves in that position to try and protect the puck. As a defenseman to play it, you almost have to wait until the forward removes that gap between himself and the wall."


The Sabres' auction of last season's game-worn jerseys ends at 9 p.m. Saturday at and Proceeds benefit the Sabres' foundation.


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