The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that forward Milan Hejduk
has been named team captain. The 35-year-old will wear the ‘C’ for the first time tomorrow night in Pittsburgh.
“Milan is a player who leads by example both on and off the ice,” said Avalanche Head Coach Joe Sacco
. “He is a product of this organization and won a Stanley Cup with this franchise. He is well respected among his teammates and we feel he deserves this opportunity and responsibility.”
Hejduk, who has served as one of the permanent assistant captains since 2008-09, will become only the third captain in Avalanche history, joining Joe Sakic and Adam Foote. Overall, Hejduk is just the 10th different captain in the franchise’s 32-year history in the National Hockey League. The Usti-nad Labem, Czech Republic native joins Peter Stastny as the only European-born captains in franchise history.
“I’m honored to be named Avalanche captain,” said Hejduk
. “From my rookie season here in Colorado, I have always felt a great sense of pride wearing this sweater and being a part of this organization. I am looking forward to this added responsibility.”
Hejduk leads Colorado with seven goals and is tied for second on the club with 12 points in 17 games this season. Hejduk, who won a Stanley Cup with Colorado in 2001, ranks third in franchise history in games (927), is fourth in goals (364) and points (769), and fifth in assists (405). He is the franchise’s all-time leader in regular season overtime goals with nine and his 59 career game-winning tallies rank second behind only Sakic (86). Hejduk sits third in franchise history with 136 power play goals.
Hejduk captured the franchise’s first-ever Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the NHL’s leading goal scorer in 2002-03. He was a Calder Trophy finalist and a member of the NHL All-Rookie Team in 1998-99. Milan was named to the NHL’s Second All-Star Team in 2002-03 and has competed in three All-Star Games: 2000, 2001 and 2009.
Now in his 13th NHL season in 2011-12, Hejduk has reached the 20-goal mark in each of the last 11 seasons, tying Sakic's franchise record for consecutive years of 20 or more goals. Hejduk's current run of 11 straight 20-goal campaigns is tied for the second-longest active streak in the league. The Avalanche winger has scored 350 goals since the start of the 1999-00 season, the fourth-highest total in the NHL behind Jarome Iginla (427), Marian Hossa (381) and Ilya Kovalchuk (371).
In NHL history, only two Czech-born players have registered more points than Hejduk's 769, Jaromir Jagr (1,614) and Patrik Elias (831). Hejduk’s 364 goals are the second-most by a Czech-born player behind Jagr’s 652. ALL-TIME CAPTAINS, FRANCHISE HISTORY
Marc Tardif 1979-80 to 1980-81
Robbie Ftorek, Andre Dupont 1981-82
Mario Marois 1982-83 to 1984-85
Mario Marois, Peter Stastny 1985-86
Peter Stastny 1986-87 to 1989-90
Joe Sakic, Steven Finn 1990-91
Mike Hough 1991-92
Joe Sakic 1992-93 to 2008-09
Adam Foote 2009-10 to 2010-11Milan Hejduk