Friday, April 14, 2006

Nazzy and the C

Iain MacIntyre offers a look at Markus Naslund and his 'C' in today's Vancouver Sun:
Naslund, who wore the captain's C like an anvil this season, said it was his least enjoyable season in the NHL, but not so awful that he wants to stop playing in Vancouver. He has two years remaining on his contract.

"There's been way too much negativity," Naslund said. "It's been hard. I'm sure it's been hard on everyone. You've got to get some distance and take a look at the big picture and see what went wrong."

Could the changes include the captaincy?

"You get questioned lots," Naslund said. "It's a legitimate question. If they want me as captain, I still feel proud to be chosen. But there are a lot of things that come with it. I don't think people know everything -- the pressure that comes with that responsibility."

Naslund has served honorably as captain for six years. It's time for someone else -- Ed Jovanovski, if he's re-signed? -- to burdened with the responsibility that even Naslund would admit has at times affected his performance.

He needs to be free to just play again.

"It's a matter of pride," Naslund said when asked if he could remain a Canuck if his C were changed to an A. "You're put in a lot of situations on the team. If you want to be part of the team, then you do whatever it takes to be successful."
The quote is not interesting because of its timing - Markus said this after the Canucks were eliminated from playoff contention last night - but more so because we know he always speaks from his heart. Even as the Canucks retool this offseason, I don't see Markus in the firing line. I can, however, see him put his 'C' out there.

Markus has represented the Canucks organization well in the past - this is the first season since he took over captaincy of this team that they won't be in the playoffs - and if passing on the 'C' is what it takes for him to return to form and the team to be successful, then so be it.

Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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posted by J.J. Guerrero, 10:31 AM


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