We talked about Canucks GM Mike Gillis meeting with Roberto Luongo this morning to discuss his future as team captain and as it turns out, Roberto Luongo will be relinquishing his role as Canucks team captain. Gillis’ thoughts on the move, per the team’s release on the matter:
“Roberto has been an excellent captain for our team the past two seasons,” said Mike Gillis. “We respect and support his decision to relinquish the captaincy and are confident that he will continue to help lead our team through his tremendous character and work ethic both on and off of the ice.”
As for Luongo, he was happy to be moving on for the sake of the team.
“I am honored to have served as captain of the Vancouver Canucks for the past two seasons,” said Roberto Luongo. “Being captain in a Canadian city for a team with such passionate fans is a privilege and an experience I will always take pride in. I will continue to be a leader on this team and support my teammates the same way I always have while focusing on our ultimate goal.”
The Canucks will be announcing a new set of leaders before the start of the season. Expect that Henrik Sedin and Ryan Kesler will be the front-runners for the role of the next captain of the Canucks. The Canucks do have a history of having a Swedish captain as Markus Naslund was once captain of the team. If you were worried that picking a European captain in Vancouver was an issue, it’s not.
A vocal, lead-by-example character like Kesler provides the kind of dynamic that the franchise hasn’t seen in years. The Canucks have lacked the kind of on-ice fire that someone like Kesler can provide and it’s shown the last two years in their playoff exits at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks.