This week one of the most hotly debated subjects surrounding the Canucks reached its course, as it was announced Monday that Luongo had relinquished the C. Was the decision to award the Vancouver net minder the job of Captain the correct thing to do in the first place?
The last time a goalie was named Captain was in the nineteen forty’s. Since then the league has made rule changes that mean goalies can’t officially fulfill the role. Something that initially would have been an honor and given him a certain status ultimately came back to haunt Luongo.
The world of professional sports is often a highly pressured environment where athletes are scrutinized and an individuals every move can regularly be put under the microscope. Due the nature of sport, players and teams sometimes have to face criticism from fans, media and management and this requires a large degree of fortitude. Like Quarterbacks and Pitchers, Goalkeepers are often relied upon to steal that all important win or pull the team back from the brink of loss. The expectations are much greater, so is the pressure placed on those positions; with the added responsibility of team Captain the pressure would have been huge.
Luongo has long been considered one of the premier goalies in the league so at times when he has struggled people have wondered if being the Captain was more of a hindrance or burden to him. Wearing the C isn’t just about being the best leader on a team or the most vocal player in the locker room. The role also dictates that the Captain has to be held accountable for the clubs actions. Facing the media scrum after a big loss could be a daunting task especially in a microcosm like Vancouver.
In a months time the Vancouver Canucks will likely have a new Captain and a goaltender that has been freed from what could have been the shackles of Captaincy. It’s believed that Luongo’s workload will be reduced, as this has also been an area of concern. The 2010/11 season is fast approaching and the stakes are high for a Vancouver team that has not progressed past the second round of the play offs in the previous two seasons. The Canucks star keeper can’t afford to have a poor season this time around, but without the C he may actually have an even heavier weight on his shoulders because now there is less reason for failure and the Captaincy cannot be used as an excuse any more.
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About the Author: James has been writing about the Canucks since September 2009. He lives in England with his Wife and is a proud stay at home Dad to his young daughter. He has been a vegetarian for over 20 years. James and his Wife love cats, they currently have four, but that is likely to increase. He has made an art form of taking things literally, which is something he’s been doing for almost 40 years.