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Dec 31, 2007, 4:12 PM EST
|Jaroslav Spacek (photo: Getty Images) |
Lindy Ruff stayed true to his word.
On the eve of one of the most hyped games of the entire NHL season, Ruff announced his new captain and handed the reins of the team over to defenseman Jaroslav Spacek.
Spacek becomes the fourth captain this season, following in the footsteps of his defensive partner Brian Campbell (Dec.), fellow blueliner Toni Lydman (Nov.) and forward Jochen Hecht (Oct.).
"It's very well deserved on his part," said Ruff. "He's played very well. He's played very hard. Out of any guy on the team, he's having the most fun playing and is probably playing as hard - maybe harder - than anybody else.
"We've got guys that are playing hard, but he's really committed to playing hard hockey, from a physical standpoint to an offensive standpoint. He's playing a tough game and you wouldn't want to play against him right now."
Campbell couldn't agree more with Ruff's assessment.
"I've shared a lot of good moments with him this year and he's improved my game a ton. I think we benefit by being paired together," said Campbell. "He's a guy that's very well liked in the room and it's nice to see that for him."
An eight-year veteran of the National Hockey League, Spacek served as an alternate captain for Dec. but has never seen a "C" stitched on his sweater as a professional. Because of that fact, the honor came as a little bit of a shock.
"It's just a letter, but sometime after you've finished your career, you can look back and say, 'Once, I had it on my jersey.' It's a very nice feeling."
History of the Captaincy
Floyd Smith (1970-71)
Gerry Meehan (1971-74)
Jim Schoenfeld (1974-77)
Danny Gare (1977-82)
Gilbert Perreault (1982-87)
Lindy Ruff (1987-89)
Mike Foligno (1989-91)
Mike Ramsey (1991-92)
Pat LaFontaine (1992-97)
Alexander Mogilny * (11/01/93 - 4/29/94)
* - due to injury to LaFontaine
Stu Barnes (2001-03)
Miroslav Satan (October, 2003)
Chris Drury (November, 2003)
James Patrick (December, 2003)
JP Dumont (January, 2004)
Daniel Briere (February, 2004)
Chris Drury (March, 2004)
Daniel Briere (2005-2007)
Chris Drury (2005-2007)
Jochen Hecht (October, 2007)
Toni Lydman (November, 2007)
Brian Campbell (December, 2007)
Jaroslav Spacek (January, 2008)
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