We’re a different kind of organization

The Vancouver Canucks announced today that goaltender Roberto Luongo has been named the organization’s 12th captain.

Yes, you read that correctly: the Canucks have chosen a goaltender to be their captain.

On a certain level, the move makes a lot of sense. You only need to watch reporters flock to Luongo’s stall in the dressing room or listen to a post-game interview to realize that Luongo is the unquestionable ‘leader’ of this team. I suppose you have to applaud management for at least having the capacity to recognize leadership on this team.

There is but one ever-so-minor problem, however. I refer you to the Official NHL Rulebook, Rule 14. Section d states clearly:

No playing Coach or playing Manager or goalkeeper shall be permitted to act as Captain or Alternate Captain.

Apparently, the Canucks, who have lived up to their reputation for bucking tradition in the hockey world (ahem), have put themselves in a position where they will have no official captain dressed for a game on any given night.

Thus, when the referee makes a horrible call or needs to discuss a dicey situation with the appointed leaders of each team, one wonders what the team will do.

A few possibilities:

  • Luongo can keep a pad of paper and a pen on top of his net and write down his instructions to one of his appointed alternate captains (Willie Mitchell, Mattias Ohlund, or Ryan Kesler);
  • Luongo can have his goalie mask fitted with a communication device, with his alternates similarly wired in, so that he can communicate his perspective without he or the alternates having to skate up and down the ice;
  • The Canucks can petition the NHL and its Board of Governors to amend the aforementioned stipulation in the rulebook to allow Luongo to be the official captain on the ice (I mean, we all know how popular Canucks’ management is around the league, right?);
  • Or, my personal favourite, the Canucks can simply hire someone to actually read the NHL Rulebook, organize another press conference for tomorrow, and appoint a designated player besides the goalie to be the damn captain of the team. (Hmmm, I dunno, perhaps one of the three perfectly competent players chosen to be Luongo’s alternates?)

When it comes to being a Canucks fan, nothing ever comes easy.


The Canucks intend to have Willie Mitchell ‘act’ as captain in on-ice situations. I’m not sure what this means, exactly, but I’m sure we’ll soon find out. For further discussion, check out Mirtle’s thread on the subject.

5 Responses to “We’re a different kind of organization”

  1. 1 jamie September 30, 2008 at 3:14 pm


    I’m trying to contact you on behalf of http://www.canucks.com/fanzone
    We’d like to add you to our directory of fan blogs!
    let me know if you are interested


  2. 2 RJ September 30, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    Jamie, by all means please do add our blog to your directory!

  3. 3 jamie September 30, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    Hey RJ

    can you email me so i can have your email address. ( I need it for directory listing)- I won’t publish it, I need it for administration purposes


  4. 4 Anonymous September 30, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    It’s a good choice. Talking to the referees is definitely the most minor duty of the captain, and Willie Mitchell can do that just fine. In terms of the real job, the leadership, handling the media, leading by example and all that, Luongo is very capable of doing that. To me, now that we realize that goaltenders in fact can be captains, Luongo is the obvious choice.

  1. 1 2008-2009 Season Preview « The Vancouver Viewpoint Trackback on October 8, 2008 at 11:10 am

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