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Colorado Avalanche: Milan Hejduk Should Lose Captaincy in Offseason

DENVER, CO - MARCH 01:  Milan Hejduk #23 of the Colorado Avalanche looks on as he warms up prior to facing the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Pepsi Center on March 1, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Blue Jackets defeated the Avalanche 2-0.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Kevin GoffContributor IMarch 10, 2012

Milan Hejduk has been a fantastic player for the Colorado Avalanche and remains one of the leaders on the team. 

That being said, Hejduk is no longer the best leader on the team, and Colorado should appoint a new captain.

This shouldn't be done as a way to send a message to Hejduk and punish him for not being productive enough as captain, but rather to recognize the leadership that has developed in the young core of the Avalanche.

Make no mistake about it, I love Milan Hejduk and believe that he has been one of the best players to don the Burgundy and Blue, but Hejduk represents an older era from the Avalanche and it's time to acknowledge the new era of stars on the team.

All season long, Ryan O'Reilly has been the guy that has stepped up in big situations to help his team find ways to get points.

Gabriel Landeskog is already showing spectacular leadership abilities and was even named rookie of the month with his fantastic February.

Hejduk has simply just lost his touch this season, especially when it comes to goal scoring.

Hejduk has had an impressive run of 20-goal seasons that will end at the end of this season, and he has only managed to put in six goals since he was named captain back in November.

That's more than 50 games played with only six goals.

His production as a whole has been lackluster this season, as he currently sits with a grand total of 13 goals and 21 assists.

Now, this is still good enough for fourth on the team, but 34 points is not what you expect out of the guy that is supposed to be one of the best scorers on your team.

Though people make a big deal about Paul Stastny not producing enough, it would make far more sense for people to be on Hejduk as well.

Hejduk should still keep an "A" on his jersey as an alternate captain, but it's pretty clear that the best leader on this team right now is Ryan O'Reilly.

While it's unlikely that the Avalanche would make a captaincy change if Hejduk doesn't retire, it would be the best move for this young team and send the message that now is the time for these young players to become the team that we are all expecting them to be.

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