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Hejduk explains why he “relinquished” Avs’ captaincy to Landeskog

Sep 5, 2012, 5:36 PM EDT

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Milan Hejduk voluntarily handed his captaincy to Gabriel Landeskog this week, making the reigning Calder Trophy winner the youngest player to ever wear the “C.”

Many described the move as “classy,” while Hejduk explained the decision quite rationally to Mike Chambers.

“(The captain) should be somebody with a significant role on the team, probably on the top two lines, which I was not last year,” Hejduk said. “It kind of feels weird when you’re playing on the third and fourth lines and being captain. It didn’t feel right.”

His diminishing role isn’t the only reason to hand the keys to the 19-year-old Swede.

Hejduk provided effusive praise of Landeskog.

“He’s going to be, in my mind, the franchise player for a long time,” Hejduk said. “He’s young, but he’s got a good head on his shoulders. I think the organization is in good hands.”

Landeskog said all the right things, too.

“It’s something you dream about as a kid,” Landeskog said. ” … It’s a humbling experience.”

  1. theawesomersfranchise - Sep 5, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    Rookie year in Kitchener, the following, he is named captain
    And it happened again in the Pros.
    If I’m starting a team, there isn’t many players I’d take before him. Malkin, Stamkos, Weber, Toews….might end right there.

    • theawesomersfranchise - Sep 5, 2012 at 8:53 PM

      Oh ya Claude, definitely take Claude before him

      • windmiller4 - Sep 5, 2012 at 10:21 PM

        If im starting a team id build it around a goalie like lundqvist or broduer in his prime. maybe a guy like datsyuk, sakic, or messier

      • theawesomersfranchise - Sep 5, 2012 at 10:31 PM

        LOL, k, but Im just talking about if I was starting a team from the current players at the age they are now.

      • windmiller4 - Sep 5, 2012 at 10:34 PM

        if your talking about current players then you would have to consider building around quick or lundqvist.

      • theawesomersfranchise - Sep 5, 2012 at 10:38 PM

        Considered it, still going with those 6 first.

  2. charleslouis99 - Sep 5, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    nothing but class by hejduk
    but still you don’t have to wear a C or A to be a leader

    • polegojim - Sep 5, 2012 at 6:53 PM

      Very true Charles… and some who wear the C and A are not leaders.

      Always liked Hejduk… My wish though.. is that instead of relinquishing the C, he would have played UP to the C.

      • charleslouis99 - Sep 5, 2012 at 7:11 PM

        If it was 10 years ago heck maybe even 3 years ago he would be playing up to the C he’s just running out of time still he had a great run of consecutive 20 goal seasons

      • jernster21 - Sep 5, 2012 at 9:36 PM

        That could be exactly why his play dropped off. When you aren’t playing your best and it’s your first year playing as the Captain (basically because he was the “obvious” choice) you feel like you have certain expectations to meet and he wasn’t meeting them with his play on the ice – he probably felt like he was letting his team down and it’s hard to turn that around when you’re already in that hole. This guy still has some of the best hands in the league (we don’t win close to 10 games last year if he wasn’t shooting in the shootout) and he’s really not that slow when you consider he’s almost 40 and he’s probably as fast as some young kids playing 3rd/4th line roles. He’ll still be used on the power play and don’t be surprised if he’s moved up to Stastny and Jones’ line interchangeably with McGinn if his play drops off.

  3. fortwaynekomets - Sep 5, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    classy but makes you wonder what’s going on inside his head.

    • blues1988 - Sep 5, 2012 at 8:46 PM

      yeah it does make you wonder whats goin on inside his head except for the fact that he told you. he feels weird being a captain and playing on the third and fourth line. he feels the captain should be a top 2 line player.

  4. icelovinbrotha215 - Sep 5, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    I like the way he plays. They compared him to Richards so COL fans should enjoy Gabs for years to come.

  5. acovey10 - Sep 5, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    I would not try to build a team around Datsyuk, he relies on his personal skills and attributes to make him who he is. I know lidstrom has been captain for awhile now, but Datsyuk couldn’t handle the C.

  6. makbjkamk26 - Sep 6, 2012 at 7:25 AM

    I would include Tavares. No question.

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