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Andy Greene named captain

by Staff Writer / New Jersey Devils

NEWARK, N.J. -- Defenseman Andy Greene was named captain of the New Jersey Devils on Friday.

Forwards Patrik Elias, Travis Zajac, Mike Cammalleri and Adam Henrique will serve as alternate captains on a rotating basis based on home and away games.

Greene, 32, is the third longest-tenured player on the Devils after Elias and Zajac. He was given the news by Devils general manager Ray Shero and coach John Hynes after practice Thursday. He'll wear the 'C' for the first time Friday when the Devils open the season at home against the Winnipeg Jets.

Greene replaces Bryce Salvador, who was captain from 2012-13 until he retired Sept. 2.

"I think I'll just go about my business the same way I've always gone," Greene said. "Be the same player and person. It's a letter. But I'll continue to play and be that same player."

The undrafted Greene signed with the Devils on April 4, 2006, and has evolved into an all-situation player in his nine NHL seasons. He can play the left and right side and also has been used to help groom a number of the Devils' young defensemen. Last season he had three goals and 22 points in 82 games, and averaged a Devils-best 23:32 of ice time per game. He was an alternate captain last season and hasn't missed a game in three seasons.

"There are three areas that stand out about Andy," Hynes said. "One, the person he is off the ice. That's something we wanted representing our team and our organization. We also feel his consistency of being an every-day professional over the course of his career; it's been impressive and something we would like our younger guys to model.

"Third is his play. He plays the way that we want to play and he's a leader on the ice. It's those components we feel were the dynamic of what we wanted in our captain."

Hynes said the decision was a collaborative effort and came after a vote of management, coaches and players.

"We had a team vote and he was the guy so we're looking forward to having him represent us," Hynes said.

Greene said the last time he was a captain was in his final two college seasons at Miami University (2004-06).

"Everyone is their own guy and they have their own way of doing things; I had a lot of good guys to watch and follow throughout my years [in New Jersey]," Greene said. "They all brought different things to the table so you try and pick their minds a little bit. But I think the important thing is to be yourself.

"I know there will be an open communication from this locker room to the coaches' locker room and we'll have open dialogue between each other. I'll let them know how the team is feeling and let them know what is and isn't working."

Devils goaltender Cory Schneider said naming Greene captain was the logical choice.

"It was a clear choice because he's such a rock back there; he doesn't seem to miss a game or make a bad play," Schneider said. "So he's kind of the epitome of the consistency and work ethic we're looking for here in New Jersey."

Devils center Stephen Gionta agreed.

"I think we all knew as soon as [Salvador] wasn't coming back that it was just a matter of time before Greene got it," he said. "He's arguably been our best player the last couple of years. And on top of that he's an unbelievable leader. When he speaks, guys listen. That's a sign of respect that the guys have for him."

Greene signed a long-term contract, reported to be five years for $25, million on July 30, 2014.

Jets coach Paul Maurice said he wasn't surprised the Devils named Greene captain. Particularly after speaking with former Devils coach Peter DeBoer, who now coaches the San Jose Sharks.

"I remember talking to [DeBoer] about his team when he was here," Maurice said. "He said you have to watch [Greene]. He's a lot better than you think he is. He's on every night, competes every night, and he's in position all the time. Pete was bang on too. Your captain has to be consistent and be able to lead.

"[Greene] is underrated but some pretty good players who were captain for the Devils were too because it's the team game of the Devils that has always taken precedence."

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