That's Cap'n Lu to you

BOB MACKIN, 24 HOURS VANCOUVER

, Last Updated: 9:15 AM ET

Roberto Luongo is the 12th captain in Vancouver Canucks' history and first goaltender in club history to serve as captain.

"I'm ready for that responsibility," Luongo said at a news conference yesterday.

Luongo, however, won't wear the C on his jersey, as per National Hockey League rules. Ryan Kesler, Mattias Ohlund and Willie Mitchell were named alternate captains. Ohlund will take ceremonial face-offs.

"There are a lot of players in our organization that have great leadership skills," said head coach Alain Vigneault. "But there's one player in my mind that has those reasons, those characteristics to a higher level."

Luongo, 29, is entering his ninth NHL season and succeeds Markus Naslund, who left for the New York Rangers after the 2007-2008 season. Luongo was voted by fans to start the 2008 All-Star Game, but declined the opportunity so he could visit his pregnant wife Gina in Florida. Luongo backstopped the Canucks to a dismal 1-7 finish.

Vigneault consulted with his assistants and researched what "great organizations" from other sports were doing, such as the New England Patriots and New York Yankees.

When he asked Luongo if he was interested, Vigneault said: "It took him about point zero one seconds to say yes."

The Canucks open the regular season at home on Oct. 9 against Calgary. 


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