While the Canucks prepare to enter their 40th season they are currently without a defined team captain. Roberto Luongo gave up the “C” a few weeks ago and the city is wondering just who will be the next person to lead our team on the ice and in the dressing room. I thought I would enlist three prominent Canucks bloggers to chime in on the subject.
ÂÂIf I was personally choosing the next captain of the Vancouver Canucks, I would go with Henrik Sedin. All the people that didnâ€™t think Markus Naslund made a good captain are now cringing, I know. However, I believe Henrik, and to a slightly lesser extent Daniel, have become the face of the franchise. Henrik is an NHL award winner, the leagueâ€™s MVP and he was the quiet leader through a tough stretch last season and our most consistent player. I know that Ryan Kesler is the physical in your face type player that can go out and throw that big hit to ignite his teammates. Heâ€™s emotional and provides a lot to the lineup when heâ€™s healthy, but I think Henrik is the better choice, the calming influence, and the quiet leader on and off the ice.
That said, if I had any say in the matter, I would let the player vote on the captaincy assignments as they know better than any of us who the leaders on this team are.
I don’t think there’s any one player without flaw that is capable of being captain. I would have gone with co-captains, but Gillis has shot that down. I think while captaincy used to be a big deal, based on the media circus that hockey has become, the role of captain has become nearly synonymous with “scape-goat”. If I had to pick one I’d go with Henrik. Kesler’s time will come soon enough.
It is difficult to answer the question on who should be the next Canucks captain. I don’t get to see what happens in the locker room. I cannot see which player motivates the players the most and provides the rally cry. I don’t know which player is regarded as the biggest leader in that regard. So it comes down to what I see on the ice. Henrik Sedin had a monster campaign in 2009-10 and that may sway a lot of votes in his direction. To me, that’s all fine and dandy, but Daniel Sedin is capable of doing the same thing. He would have scored about 111 points had he played all 82 games. So I’ll leave scoring out of my sorting process.
What I go by is how a guy plays and what his persona is in front of the press. In that regards, I’ll go with Ryan Kesler. When the Canucks play like a pile of manure Ryan Kesler says it in front of the press. He plays a 2-way game with excellence. He blocks shots, fights if he has to. He’s a gladiator. A warrior. He wears his heart on his sleeve. That is a guy I would want to follow, especially where it matters most…in the playoffs.
If you would like to add your two cents to the discussion, please leave a comment on this post. One contributor will win a 40th anniversary edition Canucks jersey from the Canucks Team Store (as seen in the photo above). I will draw one name from all comments/entries Tuesday October 12th at 9:00am.
Update October 9, 2010 As we’ll probably see a “C” on someone’s jersey tonight, you can enter to win the jersey after October 9th simply by leaving a comment about how you feel about the decision.
Update October 12, 2010 The winner (drawn at random) is Del Herbert. Thanks to everyone for their input and I hope we can all get behind Henrik as he leads us into a new Canucks era.