Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Give Him An 'A'
I don't understand why so many Canucks fans are keen to trade Matt Cooke. It seems like everyday, a different Cooke trade rumor pops up.
Which is why I enjoyed reading this Eliott Pap piece in the Vancouver Sun:
Matt Cooke, old man? Say it ain't so.For starters, I hope Cookie stays in a Canucks jersey. But also, I would think that an 'A' would look good on his jersey. Brendan Morrison and Trevor Linden already have one and newcomer Willie Mitchell may get one. Cooke, a vocal, versatile, all-heart every shift, bleeds Canucks blue kinda guy, IMHO, merits some consideration for one as well.
But it is so if you're counting years of continuous service as a Vancouver Canuck. Thanks to the summer roster upheaval, Cooke now sits third on the team's seniority list behind captain Markus Naslund and blueliner Mattias Ohlund.
Trevor Linden, the Canucks' all-time games-played leader, doesn't factor into the debate because he was dealt away and then returned. So it's Nazzy, Ohlie and Cookie in that order.
"It's kind of a neat feeling," Cooke said Thursday after working out at Burnaby 8-Rinks. "I've been here my whole professional career and I feel blessed that I've been able to stay in one city."
Naslund joined the Canucks late in the 1995-96 season, while Ohlund laced them up in 1997-98. Cooke, a sixth-round pick in '97, first cracked the lineup in 1998-99.
Based on tenure, he might be an 'A' candidate to replace departed assistant captains Ed Jovanovski and Todd Bertuzzi. It's something he hasn't considered, although he has pondered a more active role in the leadership department.
"I feel I have to take a bigger role," stated the Belleville native, who celebrates his 28th birthday next Thursday. "I'm one of the guys who's been around here for a longer period of time so, mentally, I've set myself up for that anyway. Whether I have an 'A' on my jersey or not, I have to bring leadership for this team to be successful."
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