Amid a great deal of speculation, it is now official: Roberto Luongo, goalie of the Vancouver Canucks, has officially relinquished his captaincy.
Over the summer months, and especially leading up to Luongo's return to Vancouver, speculation over his leadership skills have rumbled in. Many fear that his responsibilities may be impacting his performance.
Luongo took over captaincy from Markus Naslund in 2008. In the NHL, it is very rare for a goalie to be captain. Luongo was the first in over 60 years.
Canucks general manager, Mike Gillis, released a statement on Mondaysaying that Luongo will take this opportunity to "not have the same sort of expectations with the media on game days that has happened the last couple of years," and will "just focus on stopping the puck."
Now the question becomes, who will replace Luongo as captain of the Canucks? There have been numerous heated debates as to whether it will be the Hart Trophy winner, Henrik Sedin, or one of the other alternate captains: Daniel Sedin, Ryan Kessler, or Mikael Samuelsson. The youngster, Ryan Kesler, at 26 years old, has a very strong, popular following in Vancouver. His popularity increased following his leadership on the American 2010 Olympic team. In contrast, the Vancouver franchise has been developed around the Sedins, who have played for the Canucks for over 10 years, and are widely respected in the community. It will be interesting to see what takes place in the coming days.