Devils' Elias has no interest in reclaiming captaincy
Charles LeClaire / Reuters

New Jersey Devils forward Patrik Elias says his first experience as team captain was enough to discourage him from wearing the "C" again.

"I've been in that position before," Elias told Tom Gulitti of The Record this week. "I think it's a privilege, no question about it. I would consider it. I'm truly hoping it's not my last year, but I think there are different guys that would be more suited for that."

Defenseman Bryce Salvador announced his retirement earlier this month after serving as the Devils' captain for the last three seasons.

"We've got plenty of guys that lead different ways," Elias said. "Obviously, (Andy Greene) is a steady guy and a well-like guy in the locker room and everything and he's been in that role, especially for the D-men, for quite a while. We have plenty of guys. Some guys have to step up.

"It's time for (Adam Henrique) to be more of a leader. He's been around and he's going to be counted on. You have (Mike Cammalleri) with experience. There's different guys, different ways. So, I don't think there's going to be a problem with the leadership role."

Elias became the first European-born captain in franchise history when he was given the role in October 2006, but he was stripped of the "C" by former head coach Brent Sutter on the first day of training camp in 2007. The 39-year-old doesn't think the club dealt with that decision properly.

"It's just the way it went," Elias said. "I don't think it was handled the proper way, not just from Brent Sutter. Not just from him. So, I didn't want it after that."

Elias acknowledged that the role came with added pressure that affected his game.

"Maybe in a way ... you try to do too much maybe a little bit just because it's not an easy role," Elias said. "You might not even recognize it, but subconsciously you might worry about things that maybe you shouldn't. They put you in that role for a reason, because they like what they've seen, and you've got to keep doing the same things."

The veteran wasn't happy that he found out about the captaincy change from the media rather than the coaching staff.

"I just thought there should have been more courtesy," Elias said. "I don't know if the coach only makes the decision on the captain. We know that wasn't the case. But, I think I deserved a little bit better, not treatment but just letting me know. Not just take it off and finding out from you guys (the media)."

But after nearly two decades with the Devils, the franchise's all-time leading scorer insists he isn't planning on retiring.

"I hope not," he said. "You never know. Whatever happens. If it is, it is. I still like to play, obviously. Time goes by quickly. I enjoy it and as long as I enjoy it, I'm not going to feel like I'm not going to play again."

Devils' Elias has no interest in reclaiming captaincy
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