Elias, who rejected more money in the offseason to accept a
seven-year $42 million contract to stay in New Jersey, replaces
Stevens retired before the 2005-06 season because of problems
with concussions. The Devils played without a captain last season.
"There is no question Patrik has demonstrated throughout the
years that he is a leader of this team on and off the ice,"
president and general manager Lou Lamoriello said in a telephone
interview from Raleigh, N.C. "He became the logical choice."
Elias was not immediately available for comment, but Lamoriello
said that the 30-year-old felt honored when he was told of the
decision hours earlier.
Elias had 16 goals and 29 assists in 38 games last season. He
missed the first half of the campaign while recovering from
hepatitis, which he contracted while playing in Russia during the
lockout season of 2004-05.
Elias is the seventh captain in Devils' history, following Don
Lever, Mel Bridgman, Kirk Muller, Bruce Driver, Stevens and Scott
Niedermayer, who signed as a free agent with Anaheim before the
2005-06 season, replaced Stevens for the second half of the 2003-04
season after Stevens was sidelined by a concussion.