Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Canucks name Luongo captain

I received an anonymous email this afternoon that said "someone might be challenging" NHL Rule 14-D, which reads:
No playing Coach or playing Manager or goalkeeper shall be permitted to act as Captain or Alternate Captain.
So thanks to the tipster, even if I was leery of running with the info right away. But my first instinct, after looking at the open captaincies in the league, was that Vancouver would go off the board and give it to Roberto Luongo.

Rather than challenging the rulebook, however, the Canucks are simply naming Luongo captain and having defenceman Willie Mitchell "act as captain."

It remains to be seen if the NHL will put up much fuss about this — although I bet GM Mike Gillis ran this by the head office already.

My view? Luongo's a very good choice for the Canucks and should be allowed to wear a letter on his jersey even if Mitchell handles the other duties. There's no reason netminders can't be team captains, as the designation is largely ceremonial anyway.

The Canucks have a video on their site discussing how they made the choice.

UPDATE "Selecting Roberto Luongo as our Captain is a significant decision for our entire organization," Gillis said. "Alain and I were looking for someone to lead this team, who inspires his teammates, is respected for his on-ice accomplishments and who embodies the core values we are striving for as a hockey club. We are confident that Roberto, along with Mattias, Willie, Ryan and all of their teammates, will provide this organization with strong leadership both on and off of the ice."

"This is a tremendous honour and one that I feel very grateful for," said Luongo. "I am very proud to have been named the captain and with the support of Mattias, Willie, Ryan and all of my teammates I look forward to leading this team."

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At 3:03 p.m., September 30, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm. Most Canucks fans were pulling for Ohlund or Mitchell (and to a lesser extent Kesler), but I think the large majority of Canucks fans would support this move as Luongo is the best player, face of the franchise, and exhibits tremendous leadership qualities. Good move by the Canucks organization.

At 3:05 p.m., September 30, 2008, Anonymous Ryan said...

On my minor hockey team, when I was around 14 or so, we had a vote to decide on captains and alternates. One guy voted for one of our goalies, and we all had a good laugh about that.

Does this mean he got the last laugh?

At 3:15 p.m., September 30, 2008, Blogger Koz said...

I just saw the video piece on the Canucks website via the new NHL beta site. This seems to make good sense for them.

Maybe it's time for an archaic rule to be changed?

At 3:16 p.m., September 30, 2008, Anonymous Kevin Forbes said...

Part of this has to be an effort by the Canucks to try to entice Luongo to stay with the organization past his current contract.
Using the position of captain as a negotiating tacit...if that isn't one of the key representations that the position is ceremonial these days, I don't know what is.

At 3:19 p.m., September 30, 2008, Blogger Chiba Chiba Y'all said...

Agree with Kevin.

Another large part of the captaincy is the relationship with the media. He already took that role over with the local media getting frustrated with the now famous Markus "I don't know what to tell you" shrug.

At 4:47 p.m., September 30, 2008, Blogger violator said...

Well he is a good leader in the locker room, influential, why not? Also he will be more motivated to stay with Canucks.

At 4:52 p.m., September 30, 2008, Blogger Down Goes Brown said...

Those ceremonial faceoffs are going to be awkward.

At 4:59 p.m., September 30, 2008, Anonymous James said...

Those ceremonial faceoffs are going to be awkward.

comment of the day.

At 5:00 p.m., September 30, 2008, Blogger Hooks Orpik said...

At least the Canucks' captain will always be on the ice to argue with the zebras.

At 5:44 p.m., September 30, 2008, Blogger nebcanuck said...

I think the best part of this is the way they divvied up the roles for the captaincy.

Luongo gets to be the face of the team, as he already is. Mitchell gets to be the one to talk to the ref, which makes sense since he's the one the Canucks fans were pulling for to be the "conventional captain", because of his poise. Ohlund, as the longest-serving Canuck, gets to do the faceoffs. And Kesler, who's the young guy, is possibly being bred to be the captain some time down the road when the team actually revolves around their forwards, not their goalie.

That's a sweet way to state "we're a team", IMO.

At 8:20 p.m., September 30, 2008, Blogger Art Vandelay said...

So who gets the Stanley Cup handoff from Commissioner Bettman?

Wait. Never mind.

At 12:13 p.m., October 01, 2008, Blogger Chiba Chiba Y'all said...

And, by not being named, Bieksa doesn't have to talk to the refs from the penalty box... with a broken stick... while swearing.

(I still love Bieksa.)

At 9:51 p.m., October 01, 2008, Blogger Doogie2K said...

Is there a particular reason for keepers not to wear the "C"? I mean, sure, it's impractical as hell to have him come charging down the ice from the crease every time there's an offensive-zone penalty, but other than that, there's no real justification: an alternate-captain can take the ceremonial faceoffs just fine.

Who was the last goalie-captain in the NHL? I'm guessing Bill Durnan in 1948.


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