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Captain Canuck - SEP.30.08


Nancy Henderson

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<table width=80% align=center border=0><tr><td><img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/henderson_headshot.jpg" align="left" hspace="4">Bugs Bunny: “We’re foundering fast. Oh no! The Captain goes down with his ship.”

Yosemite Sam: “I resign. You’re Captain”

Bugs: “No, you’re Captain”

Sam: “I’m Captain and I say you’re Captain, Captain”

And just last week I was feeling like the good ship Canuck was going to make it past the tricky shoals. Now I’m wondering about the stability of the rudder.

The hysteria already seems to be building out there. I have no wish to add to it. But I must admit that I am a little concerned about the decision to name Roberto Luongo as captain of the Canucks. First of all, a goalie isn’t allowed to be a true captain in the NHL. It’s a bit like being named Honeydew Queen at the Fall Fair – sure you get the title but you have no actual legislative powers. You don’t even get to keep the tiara, or in Roberto’s case, wear the “C”.

<img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2008/09/Sept2308_Canucks-Oilers08_t.jpg" align="right" border="0" hspace="4" vspace="1">The fellow most likely to carry out the actual duties of captain, talking to officials and the media in his customary gregarious and forthright way, and quietly leading by example in the middle of the playing surface, is Willie Mitchell. It appeared last season that there might be some sort of unnamed problem between the d-man and the coach. The failure to name leading candidate Mitchell as the successor to Markus does nothing to dispel rumours of a rift.

Clearly Roberto is a highly skilled and focused netminder. Everyone talks about Roberto’s leadership, his incredible desire to win. The boys say it’s on show in the locker room. But despite his ability to make save after jaw-dropping save, frankly, I have yet to see definitive evidence of Louie’s superhuman will, especially at the most crucial times. It was certainly missing in action at the end of last season, when he was being pulled during weak outings and the team was losing. Hmmm. What happens the first time the newly minted Captain gets benched mid-game?

<img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2008/09/sep3008_presser04_t.jpg" align="left" border="0" hspace="4" vspace="1">If things start going badly, will the crushing weight of the captaincy, never an easy thing to bear here on the West Coast, be too much for our beloved goalie? Will he ever manage to give an interview where he looks comfortable? Will the extra responsibility convince Louie to stay or drive him away quicker? And, most importantly, should we all be gravely concerned that, with the exception of Kes, we have no FORWARDS considered worthy of the captaincy? I’m not sure, so I’m adopting a wait-and-see attitude.

Meanwhile Kyle Wellwood is adopting a weight-and-see attitude. Considering the prodigious preponderance of pudgy people on the planet, maybe the Canucks should market their brilliant slimming program – public humiliation by Coach Vigneault (the Carbs Means Barbs Plan), followed by vigorous exercise and delicious, vegetable-rich meals delivered to your door. Wellwood dropped 8 pounds in a week. I’m seriously thinking about signing up. </td></tr></table>

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Nice to see at least one blogger doing some writing. I like Louie for captain and his effort and leadership are constantly on display.

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