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At the Rink blog

Hejduk debuts as Avalanche captain

Tuesday, 11.15.2011 / 1:31 PM

By Alan Robinson - NHL.com Correspondent / At the Rink blog

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At the Rink blog
Hejduk debuts as Avalanche captain
PITTSBURGH -- The Colorado Avalanche's jerseys had a slightly different look for their game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. One of them now features a 'C' on the front.
 
Milan Hejduk officially made his debut as Colorado's captain today after coach Joe Sacco waited until nearly one-quarter of the way through the season to make his choice.
 
"He's won a Stanley Cup, he knows how to win and what it takes," Sacco said. "I didn't have a certain date in mind; it was just when we felt it was the right time."
 
As it turned out, that time was the start of a two-game road trip, to Pittsburgh and Minnesota.
 
Sacco may have required some time to reveal his selection, but to him, it was an obvious one. Hejduk, who has 364 goals and 769 points in 927 NHL games -- all with the Avs -- was chosen 10 years after helping Colorado last win the Stanley Cup.
 
"He's a leader by example," Sacco said. "He's not going to be the most vocal guy, he's not going to be yelling and screaming -- that's not his identity as a person. But he does lead by example on and off the ice by the way he conducts himself, the way he handles himself, his preparation for both practices and games."
 
Sacco added, "He's been an Avalanche now for his 13th year. He's what we want our younger players to be."
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We're buyers. We're committed to winning. That's what [owner Vinnie Viola] has said all along and what we've said all along. We want to win. We want to win a championship. We're putting the pieces together, step by step, and we're hopeful that Jaromir can lead these young guys to the promised land. It's a win-win for us.

— Panthers GM Dale Tallon on Jaromir Jagr, who he traded for from the Devils on Thursday
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