Canucks name goaltender Luongo as team captain Staff

9/30/2008 8:05:30 PM

The Vancouver Canucks have a new captain and his name is Roberto Luongo.

"This is a tremendous honour and one that I feel very grateful for," said Luongo. "I am very proud to have been named the Captain and with the support of Mattias, Willie, Ryan and all of my teammates I look forward to leading this team."

Luongo, who is in the third year of a four-year deal with the Canucks, was named to the post on Tuesday along with alternates captains Willie Mitchell, Mattias Ohlund, Ryan Kesler.

"Selecting Roberto Luongo as our Captain is a significant decision for our entire organization," Canucks general manager Mike Gillis said in a statement. "(head coach) Alain (Vignault) and I were looking for someone to lead this team, who inspires his teammates, is respected for his on-ice accomplishments and who embodies the core values we are striving for as a hockey club. We are confident that Roberto, along with Mattias, Willie, Ryan and all of their teammates, will provide this organization with strong leadership both on and off of the ice."

By league rule, the Canucks goaltender cannot wear the 'C', but he can be named captain. Mitchell will be designated as the person who will deal with officials on a nightly basis.

As the longest serving Canuck, Mattias Ohlund will deal with any ceremonial aspects of the position such as  faceoffs.

Luongo becomes the 12th Captain in Canucks history.  Last season, the Montreal native picked up 35 wins in 79 games with six shutouts.

The Canucks captaincy had been vacated by Markus Naslund after he signed as a free-agent this off-season with the New York Rangers.  Naslund had been the team's captain since 2000.

Only six goaltenders have served as team captains in NHL history.  The Montreal Canadiens' Bill Durnan was the last goaltender to serve as captain in the 1947-'48 season. 

Prior to 1948-'49, the NHL passed a rule prohibiting goalies to act as captain or assistants in what could be called the 'Durnan Rule.'

The Canadiens keeper left his crease so much to argue calls that opponents protested saying that Durnan's actions gave the Canadiens unscheduled timeouts during strategic points in games.