Captain Lou! (Not Albano) Luongo to wear (or not) the C!
Little Stampede/WWF Wrestling reference from a long time ago there…
The start of the hockey season always makes me happy. After 3-4 months of boring crap like baseball or mildly interesting but not so compelling (to me) soccer, hockey is back. Yay! I love a good hockey game. I even love a bad hockey game if there’s a good breakaway or something. So I waited all summer for this year’s pre-season to start.
In July I got very concerned about my home team, the Canucks. They got rid of a very good GM and replaced him with an unknown entity. Who promptly did…almost nothing that got the fans excited in a good way. Well, he did let the captain go (probably a good thing, much as I’m a fan of Naslund) and Morrison go (probably a bad thing; he’s an explosion of points waiting to happen). He brought in an aging Czech and an overweight Maple Leaf (yeah there’s a winning pedigree…snicker). Darcy Hordichuk came to kick some bootay in the boxing ring. But overall, it seemed like more of the same for us sad ‘nucks fans. After last year’s injury addled tilt at the end of the season, there wasn’t much hope. The Sedins were ineffective, and we all but forgot about Salo’s big shot and Bieksa’s heart. The only bright spot at the end of the season was the exciting and under-rated combo of Kesler and Burroughs (who became my two favorite Canucks not named Linden or Mitchell, by the way) who, lets face it, will never be the West Coast Express or the GKM line from the 80’s Oilers. I was getting prepared to dust off my old Oilers jersey, cuz even tho i’m still a ‘nucks fan the Oilers look like a cinderella team waiting to explode this year, and before the pre-season start the Canucks looked like the 2003 Minnesota Mild.
So we entered the pre-season with us fans all going “well…we still have Luongo and Mitchell at least…so we won’t lose games 8-1…”. No Captain, no second line, no scorers. But wait a second…the pre-season we look pretty good so far. Wellwood’s lost 10 pounds in 10 days and looks like a possibility as a happy surprise on offense. If he makes the cut… Demitra is a play maker. Salo is back with a vengeance, and Bieksa seems excited. The youngsters are all awesome looking. Hodgson, Edler, Hannsen…all superstars in waiting…and Mason Raymond is going to be awesome if he stays healthy…so fast. Plus we have about 10 million dollars of cap space to spend, which is nice. I personally hope that Sundin does NOT come here, cuz his little prima donna soap opera has just pissed me (and I would think a good portion of the free world) off. I say best case for the Canucks is to wait a year and get Gaborik. But que sera, as they say.
The big news today, tho, is that the Canucks announced Roberto Luongo to be the new captain! Screw the rules, and who cares if he can’t legally wear the C today, he’s the leader. The ‘A’s go to Ohlund, Mitchell and Kesler, and I personally can’t think of anyone better. I actually thought one of the first two of those would get the C. This is not a completely unprecedented move, as a goalie as captain occured in the NHL not too long ago…1947.
There are logistical issues from a rules perspective with a goalie being captain; can he skate out to the timekeepers box every time there’s a penalty? Probably not. So the assistants will shoulder that responsibility. But anyone who’s watched Luongo or seen him in an interview knows: from the team leadership perspective, he is and has been the obvious choice for 2 years. He displays a legendary work ethic and leadership skills, and deserves the title even if it is only off the ice. And he cut his hair so he no longer looks like a lugan from 1988 driving to an AC-DC concert in his gremlin. So congrats to him and the three A’s, and let’s see a surprisingly good year from the ‘nucks! We can go deep this year, I feel it. I say that every year, mind you…