“If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right.”- Jerry Seinfeld, to George Costanza, in “The Opposite.”
Another season without a captain leading our beloved Maple Leafs? I’m off the idea. Huge.
Allow me to get straight to the point: captain Luke Schenn. Not in 2012. Right now.
No big announcement, no press conference, no interviews. Nothing. Simply young Luke stepping onto the ice on opening night with the “C” on his shoulder, adding to what will already be an electrifying night at the Air Canada Centre. Imagine that.
Going captainless in 2008/2009 was the right thing to do after Mats Sundin left town in all the wrong ways. Toronto didn’t get to say goodbye to, and close the door on, Sundin until a cold, snowy night in February, when Mats returned home wearing another blue and white jersey, this one with a touch of green.
Closure. We needed it. We got it. And now it’s time to move on. Now it’s time to pass the torch.
Think about it: only 12 months ago, I was clamoring for Schenn to be sent back to Kelowna. I was one of many who thought another season of junior hockey, and a trip to the World Junior Hockey Championship, was what was best for Schenn’s development. And I was wrong. Gloriously so. Watching Schenn play in the NHL – and play well – was a joyous experience. I learned plenty about our young stalwart on defence. So did guys like Evgeni Malkin and Tyler Kennedy.
I know what you’re thinking, because I’m having the same doubts: Schenn’s too young; too raw. He’ll celebrate only his 20th birthday on November 2nd. He’s got work to do in order to improve his own game. The pressures of being captain in this hockey-mad city of ours are exactly what Schenn doesn’t need on his broad shoulders.
Yet, moving forward, there’s no doubt about it: the Toronto Maple Leafs are Luke Schenn’s team.
And, channeling my hero George Louis Costanza, if every instinct I have about Luke Schenn is wrong, the opposite would have to be right.