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On This Day: The Kid Is The Captain

The captain’s patch was passed on from one legend to another.

Pittsburgh Penguins v New Jersey Devils Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Looking back, 2007 essentially marked the beginning of the new generation for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Mario Lemieux had stepped off the ice and into the owner’s box by January of 2006. And after a shaky “transitioning period” where Lemieux’s ownership group originally had a deal in place to sell the team to Jim Balsillie, Lemieux saw Balsillie unexpectedly pull out at the last minute and went on to retain control of the club.

For the rest of the 2005-06 campaign and the entire 2006-07 season, the Penguins remained without a captain. Enter 19-year-old phenom, Sidney Crosby. At just 19 years and and 297 days old, Crosby was declared the youngest captain in the league’s history, taking the title away from the previous holder, Vincent Lecavalier.

Crosby had already been serving as an alternate captain, a move that originally drew some ire from hockey personalities around the league for his lack of experience. Nevertheless, the trigger was pulled and the Penguins haven’t looked back since.

But times have changed since the “C” was sewn into Sid’s sweater.

On January 19, 2013, the Colorado Avalanche named Gabriel Landeskog the captain of their franchise. At 19 years and 286 days old, by a mere 11 days, Landeskog took hold of the title. And then, on October 5, 2016, the Edmonton Oilers cemented Connor McDavid’s status as the go-to guy for the team by declaring him the captain. McDavid, at 19 years and 266 days, currently reigns supreme as the youngest captain in NHL history. Number 97 also holds the record for being the youngest captain to physically play in a game, being only 19 years and 273 days old.

I guess the point of this story is... do you feel old?!

*Bonus factoid: the names listed above only signify those who have retained the captaincy on a permanent basis. Brian Bellows of the Minnesota North Stars lives on in the annals of history by being the youngest interim captain. Bellows, at 19 years and 131 days old, filled in for Craig Hartsburg from January 1984 until May 1984.