Features | 12/28/2009 11:28:41 AM | Jackie Lewandowski
The Buffalo Bandits officially have a new leader.
After losing long-time captain Rich Kilgour to retirement, Head Coach Darris Kilgour has named defenseman Chris White as the veteran's successor.
White was the team's alternate captain for the 2009 season and has been a member of the Bandits since 2005.
"Chris was captain when Rich wasn't captain last year and he's been a leader-in-waiting for the past three years," Kilgour said. "He's very steady and holds himself and others to a high level, and I know he's going to make the right play for the team at the right time."
White has played in 70 career games with Buffalo, registering 29 points during his tenure as one of the team's top defensemen. His play on the field even earned him the honor of competing in the 2009 All-Star Game for the East.
While his play speaks for itself, White maintains his leadership will be less vocal.
"I don't want to change too much as far as what I've learned and there are a lot of guys that like to be vocal in the locker room" White said. "I'll probably take those moments as they come."
Much of what he has learned has come from the former captain in Rich Kilgour. White said he looks forward to the challenge of filling the veterans' shoes during his captaincy.
"I don’t know if I can ever live up to Rich, he's one of my favorite captains that I have ever played for," White said. "I've learned so much from him and will attempt to build on that, but I will also add my own style."
White's first challenge will be to lead a team that suffered some major losses during the offseason. In addition to Kilgour, the Bandits also lost veterans Cory Bomberry and Pat McCready.
"That's a lot of leadership to lose at one time, so we wanted to bring in some veterans who have been here before," Kilgour said. "We hope those little moves will pay dividends during the season."
"I expect 150 percent out of everyone to help us achieve our team goal," White said. "We have to keep focused in the dressing room each and every week, and I expect guys to be ready to play their best every game."
White's expectations are also echoed by Coach Kilgour, who will be looking for more leadership and athleticism from each of his players this season to reach that goal.
White will make his debut as captain during the season opener in the Blue Cross Arena when the Bandits play the Rochester Knighthawks on Saturday, January 9th. Bandits fans can catch him and his teammates at HSBC Arena during the home opener on Saturday, Jan. 16th at 7:30pm. For ticket information, click here.