no longer is the captain of the Vancouver Canucks
Team President and General Manager Mike Gillis announced Monday that the All-Star goaltender has decided he will relinquish his role as captain.
"Roberto has been an excellent captain for our team the past two seasons," Gillis said. "We respect and support his decision to relinquish the captaincy and are confident that he will continue to help lead our team through his tremendous character and work ethic both on and off of the ice."
Luongo was named captain of the Canucks before the 2008-09 season -- the first goaltender to be named captain since Montreal's Bill Durnan
in 1947-48, though under NHL rules he was not able to wear the "C" or discuss disputed calls with the officials. The Canucks won the Northwest Division title in both seasons in which Luongo was captain, but were eliminated by the Chicago Blackhawks
"I am honored to have served as captain of the Vancouver Canucks
for the past two seasons," Luongo said. "Being captain in a Canadian city for a team with such passionate fans is a privilege and an experience I will always take pride in. I will continue to be a leader on this team and support my teammates the same way I always have while focusing on our ultimate goal."
Luongo went 33-13-7 in 2008-09 and 40-22-4 last season. He also backstopped Team Canada to the gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver in February. But he took some heat after struggling during the playoffs last spring, finishing 6-6 with a 3.22 goals-against average and .895 save percentage. The Canucks beat Los Angeles in six games in the first round and whipped Chicago in the opener of the second round, but Luongo wasn't sharp the rest of the way during Hawks' six-game triumph.
Hart Trophy winner Henrik Sedin
and Selke Trophy finalist Ryan Kesler
are among the early candidates to succeed Luongo as captain.