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Hejduk explains why he “relinquished” Avs’ captaincy to Landeskog

Colorado Avalanche v Nashville Predators

NASHVILLE, TN - JANUARY 12: Gabriel Landeskog #92, Ryan O’Reilly #37, Milan Hejduk #23, and Stefan Elliott #46 of the Colorado Avalanche celebrate after a goal against the Nashville Predators at the Bridgestone Arena on January 12, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

Frederick Breedon

Milan Hejduk voluntarily handed his captaincy to Gabriel Landeskog this week, making the reigning Calder Trophy winner the youngest player to ever wear the “C.”

Many described the move as “classy,” while Hejduk explained the decision quite rationally to Mike Chambers.

"(The captain) should be somebody with a significant role on the team, probably on the top two lines, which I was not last year,” Hejduk said. “It kind of feels weird when you’re playing on the third and fourth lines and being captain. It didn’t feel right.”

His diminishing role isn’t the only reason to hand the keys to the 19-year-old Swede.

Hejduk provided effusive praise of Landeskog.

“He’s going to be, in my mind, the franchise player for a long time,” Hejduk said. “He’s young, but he’s got a good head on his shoulders. I think the organization is in good hands.”

Landeskog said all the right things, too.

“It’s something you dream about as a kid,” Landeskog said. " ... It’s a humbling experience.”