With a meeting set this month between Canucks GM Mike Gillis and current captain Roberto Luongo to discuss the captaincy, this now brings up the question of who should be the new face of the appointed leader.
There are a number of players that would fit that position that already are wearing an “A” so it would be normal for one of them to be elevated to the captains role.
Even though Luongo has stated many times that the wearing of the “C” does not add any extra pressure of playing this is not what appears to be in his play, especially what we saw last season.
He has done an admiral job of answering the media after most games but surely it must wear on a person having to face them on nights you would just rather exit into the night.
In all Luongo was the seventh goaltender that has been an NHL captain with Bill Durnan of the Montreal Canadiens being the last one in the latter half of the 1947-48 season.
Prior to that season there had been five other goaltenders that had been captains between 1924-34 so it’s not as if it was an abnormality.
But in saying that, there are number of other factors on why a goaltender has not been a captain since those times.
It is also well know that the captain has numerous responsibilities to the team.
Besides being the team liaison to management with players concerns, he is also a locker room leader.
If the captain happens to be the franchise player or star, he is also looked upon to lead or motivate the team.
We have all seen ceremonial on-ice functions like face-offs and awards where the captain is the team representative and off course the after game scrum in front of the media.
This is quite a load to carry and if Luongo is not having a stellar game or has run into a string of games, how does one get up in the dressing room and lead, when your play is not indicative of leading by example?
So with that being said the following are a number of players who would better suit the captaincy and in no particular order.
Ryan Kesler currently is an alternate captain and on most nights works consistently hard. He has that passion of winning and has demonstrated his dis-pleasure with losing.
In each of his seasons since he joined the Canucks he has progressed as a very good two way player, having been a finalist for the Frank Selke Trophy over the past two seasons.
At the end of 2007-08 he was fifth in scoring and over the last two seasons has finished third.
Kesler like most Canucks is involved in community projects, is easily recognized and could be the face of the team going forward.
In 2005-06 he finished second in scoring behind Markus Naslund and the next year second behind his brother Daniel.
Since 2007-08 he has either led or finished tied with brother Daniel in team scoring.
Last season he became an alternative captain and for whatever reason this seemed to raise his play to another level.
When his brother Daniel went down with an injury early in the season (missed 19 games) most people thought that Henrik would be lost and his play would tail off.
Instead he stepped up put the team on his back and not only finished the team as their leading scorer with 112 points but also topped the NHL.
This accomplishment of 112 points won him the Art Ross Trophy along with the Hart Trophy as the NHL MVP both being firsts for the Canucks organization.
The philanthropic side also surfaced when he and his brother Daniel donated $1.5 million towards the BC Children’s Hospital.
Henrik Sedin would be a most worthy consideration.
Filed under: Opinion