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Captain, my Captain?

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With only two captains over the 16 year existence of the Colorado Avalanche, it's safe to say that the honor of wearing the "C" is a rarity. When Super Joe retired after serving 16 seasons as captain of the franchise, many felt the Avs should not name a captain the subsequent season in honor of #19. Unfortunately they went with a creepy locker room shrine instead of quiet respect for their quiet captain, but if anyone was fit to fill Sakic's skates, it was long time franchise stalwart Adam Foote. Foote served two years as captain and was "respected" (respect born of hate in some cases) by just about everyone in both the league and the stands. Joe was the face of the franchise for his entire time in Denver. Foote was both a familiar face, a revered name, and had previously served as Captain with the BJs, so Footer was an easy choice for cap'n. But now, the Avalanche face unfamiliar territory as they turn to name their third captain in team history. But who the hell do they turn to?

The only longtime player (and the one guy left from the glory days) is Milan Hejduk, but the uber quiet Hejduk and his one year contract don't exactly scream "captain". And if the Avs want to seriously move on and lose "build from within", then it makes sense to select a new face for the team and start fresh. Several years of whispers that Stastny is the heir apparent have quietly gone the way of the buffalo. Duchene screams leader, but he is only 20 and still working out his own growing pains as he develops into a solid and consistent top tier badass. Liles is the only other feasible option at this point. At the graceful old age of 30 he is a veteran and boasts the longest tenure on the team besides Hejduk. Plus, JML has risen as a leader in the past season and change. But Hot Pocket is also perennial trade bait (rumors, all rumors!!!), an often Sacco doghouse tenant, and entering the last year of his contract, so he doesn't sound like a long term solution either. Both Erik Johnson and Ryan O'Reilly seem likely outside shot candidates, but both haven't shown enough to warrant the "C" hands down at this point.

So, whom do the Avs call captain in 2011-2012? Who will take our beloved and bruised team to the promised land (which, by the way, is not this place)? The clock is ticking Sherman. Choose, but please, choose wisely.