The Vancouver Canucks stunned the hockey world on Tuesday by anointing goaltender Roberto Luongo the new captain of the team. Luongo becomes the first backstopping captain in the NHL in over 60 years. Rules forbid Luongo from wearing the "C" on his jersey so his on ice team leading responsibilities fall to defenseman Willie Mitchell. How great is that? You do not get the captaincy but you still have to do most of the bureacratic stuff that comes with it. Poor Mitchell is getting the short end of the goalie stick there.
Luongo, whose contract with the Canucks expires after the 2009-10 season, has now been tapped as the centerpiece of Vancouver's lineup, a fact that should come as little surpise to those who have followed this team. What the announcement does mean, though, is that the Canucks' brass is very serious about keeping him in the fold after 2010. Time will tell what Luongo thinks. In 2 seasons with Vancouver, Luongo has compiled an 82-51-15 record with a save percentage right around .919 and a goals against average at about 2.31. He just missed out on the Vezina Trophy 2 seasons ago, his first with the team. Currently, Luongo is only 3 wins away from career number 200.