Northwest News and Notes - 10.02.08
The Vancouver Canucks named their new captain this week and it was an interesting choice: Roberto Luongo. Alternate captains are Mattias Ohlund, Ryan Kesler, and Willie Mitchell.
The last goaltender to be named captain was Bill Durnan of the Montreal Canadiens way back in 1948. After that, the NHL changed their rules to state that no goaltender can wear the ‘C’ on the ice.
It is expected that defenceman Mattias Ohlund, the longest serving Canuck, will handle the ceremonial aspects of the position, like faceoffs.
One must assume that Luongo is a very strong character in the dressing room, especially considering the fact that his role as the captain is limited.
Either that, or the Canucks are desperate to convince Luongo that he should stay in Vancouver.
Matthew Lombardi of the Calgary Flames can skate like the wind, but now he needs to prove himself offensively.
The 26-year-old native of Montreal saw his offensive numbers dip last season, scoring only 14 goals and 36 points in 82 games. He will be expected to improve this year, providing the team with the secondary scoring needed to be a real threat in the West.
“That expectation is definitely there for him,” coach Mike Keenan said. “I think he grew last year. He took on greater responsibilities as the year went on, for example penalty killing. He became better at it. He has to step up and give us that skill and take it to a new level.”
A number of players sat down and gave their thoughts on who the best dressed Oiler is.