No C Means No More Excuses

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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Filed Under: FeaturedNHLNHL TeamsVancouver Canucks

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.

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  1. PhilaDAVEia says:

    Nice work, and I totally agree, James. Luongo is one of the most revered goaltenders in the NHL, and if he fell into a slump, everyone wondered if it was because of the pressure of the “C”. He has almost become an inigma since taking on the captaincy.

    Not sure if it’s in Roberto’s make up to take on that kind of responsibility and continue to keep up the usual high-quality net minding that we have all come to expect. A guy like Ron Hextall in his first stint with the Flyers was better-suited for the “C” and would have thrived, if the league had allowed him to be captain at the time. It was just Hexy’s personality on the ice, and Luongo is much more laid back.

    Now that the weight has been lifted, it will be interesting to “C” (sorry for the bad pun!) just how well Lu performs. No more excuses…

  2. Jason says:

    I think it was wrong for him to have the “C” in the first place. Will be great to see that weight lifted off his shoulders, I agree no excuses now! Shouldn’t have had any (other than questionable D in the first place)
    I think he will start hot this year! His best October ever, doesn’t want to give Scheid’s the opening! That and with an improved D core he should be able to make the first save and not have to worry about the “back door” being open!

  3. Fred Poulin says:

    Great idea to remove the C from Bobby Lou, he’ll feel less pressure this season and will only have to concentrate on his on-ice performance. The rumor is that Henrik Sedin will be named the Canucks Captain within the next two weeks.

  4. How much is there to the rumor Fred? I know he’s the golden boy in the Captaincy race, but has there been any notion from the organization that they are leaning towards Hank?

  5. Fred Poulin says:

    The rumors comes from the same person who said Luongo would be stripped of his captaincy in training camp and he was right… We’ll say if it comes true too!

  6. i have been both a supporter of Luongo and skeptic as far as his performance in the last 2 seasons something that IMO was directly linked to his role as Captain.Even though i was one of the first people on board in support of the decision that made him Captain,until halfway through last season shaking my head as to what the problem was even then i didn’t seriously think it was the Captaincy.True now he may even have more pressure on him but in a lot of ways i think fans will be more sympathetic in numbers anyway if things don’t go well. It might take him one whole season to recover.My predictions are right more often then wrong and i think Luongo will prove skeptics like myself wrong

  7. [...] • Now that he’s no longer captain of the Vancouver Canucks, it’s time for Roberto Luongo to focus on his play and not worry about the responsibilities of wearing the "C". [Hockey Independent] [...]