Originally written on Red Light District Hockey  |  Last updated 11/5/14
Colorado_avalanche_v_23b4

After Adam Foote's retirement at the conclusion of the 2010-11 season, the Colorado Avalanche was tasked with finding a new captain to lead the team in coming seasons. On Monday, the team announced that 35-year-old winger Milan Hejduk was to succeed Foote as captain of the Avalanche.

Hejduk, a Czech native, is just the third captain in Avalanche history since the Quebec Nordiques moved to Denver and became the Avalanche. Hejduk is currently the longest-tenured player on the roster, now in his 13th season in Colorado. He's a home-grown product of the Avalanche system -- drafted by Quebec in 1994, he joined the Avalanche in 1998 after the move to Colorado. Just a few years later, he won a Stanley Cup with the team in 2001. Hejduk is second on the team in scoring this season with 13 points in 18 games.

Hejduk is not the most vocal guy in the locker room, but Avs coach Joe Sacco chose him because he leads by example and mentors the younger players. "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 said. "He's what we want our younger players to be."

Even though being a vocal captain is not the soft-spoken Hejduk's style, he said he will speak up if a situation in the locker room requires it. "(Foote) did a great job, but he was more vocal than I am or Joe (Sakic) was. When something needed to be said, he said it," Hejduk recalled. "If something needs to be said, I will say it, definitely. No question about that."

However, according to teammate and alternate captain Paul Stastny, Hejduk's quiet personality makes his opinion all the more powerful. "To me, it was a good decision. He's quiet, but around the guys he opens up. He's not the most vocal guy, but when he does say something, people listen," said Stastny, Hejduk's teammate for six years.

But why did it take Sacco 17 games into the season to choose a captain? Sacco apparently wanted to see who would emerge as a leader early in the 2011-12 season. But it seems he had made his decision some time ago and was just waiting for the perfect moment to make the official announcement. "There was a process in place, and it had to play itself out and it did. I didn't have a certain date in mind; it was just when we felt it was the right time," Sacco said.

Hejduk, who has served as an alternate captain for the past three seasons, considers the "C" on his jersey to be a big honor. "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 said. "I've been in the league for a long time and this is really cool."

Sacco just hopes that Hejduk won't feel pressure to change anything about himself now that he's been named captain. "I want him to be the person that he is," Sacco said. "He doesn't have to change who he is at all, and (should) just lead by example."

Photo credit: Getty Images
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Jarret Stoll arrested for possession of drugs

CJ Wilson: Josh Hamilton’s relapse a ‘tame scenario’

Head coaching candidates for the Denver Nuggets

Check out these leaked Clippers jersey redesigns

Aqib Talib’s aggravated assault investigation suspended

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Ohio State expects 80,000 at its spring game this Saturday

Bryant strikes out three times in debut; Cubs fans heckle him

NBA rookies who disappointed in 2014-15 season

Report: Urban Meyer reassured Belichick about Hernandez

Cuban: Harden is MVP, Rockets are not very good

J.R. Smith: 'I don’t think anyone can beat us'

Ubaldo Jimenez hit Pablo Sandoval with pitch, was ejected

NBA to track and post referees’ calls beginning in playoffs

MLB payrolls continue to rise

NBA playoffs: Los Angeles Clippers vs. San Antonio Spurs

Home runs ruined our ability to appreciate production

Why we love the NFL draft

There are only two contenders ... in the West?

Woman stripped of marathon win, didn't actually run in race

Matt Barnes' son betrays him for Steph Curry

WATCH: Padres fan saved from falling by alert cameraman

Kemp hosts Seattle party over OKC missing playoffs

Jim Harbaugh showed up at Ultimate Frisbee practice

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Jarret Stoll busted for drugs

CJ Wilson: Hamilton is 'ready to go'

Leaked Clippers jersey redesigns

Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase preview

Home runs ruined our ability to appreciate production

Why we love the NFL draft

The "worst" player on each NBA playoff team

Jim Harbaugh showed up at Ultimate Frisbee practice

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and the burden of legacy

Kris Bryant and floor versus ceiling

Top 10 storylines of the NBA Playoffs

A-Rod being taken to court over unpaid legal fees

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.