September 27, 2009

Passing the Torch



“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.

14 comments:

kushnir said...

i sat down during after the last det game and was thinking the same exact thoughts in my head. the Leafs have to name a captain. and its gotta be schenn

eyebleaf said...

I knew I could count on you Kush, you crazy mother fucker.

sparrow13 said...

I agree. Put the C on his jersey quietly and see how many fans notice it when they do their usual scoreboard zoom-ins on the players.

When we hear the massive applause, we'll know.

jimmydoggit said...

if only we (being the enlightened fanbase) got to pick.

tbot said...

Really? Schenn's play has been less than stellar last season and this pre-season. Hopefully the kid will be good, but he's got a lot to learn. Putting the C on him would put way too much pressure on him when he is still developing.

It's not right for Schenn and it's not right for the team. And the C is for the team, not the fans.

Johnny G said...

ARGH, I want to believe... I really do, but this seems too soon....

Anonymous said...

we dont NEED a captain. We can wait

Hungry Leafs Fan said...

You know you're my boy, eye but even this is a bit too out there for me to agree with. I think there's too many vets on this team for Schenn to be named captain. We have guys like Kaberle, Komi and Beauchemin on the blue line this year. All with a ton more experience than Schenn and all more respected as well. For them to be taking orders from a sophomore will be a bit of a slap in the face. Other young Captains (Crosby & Toews specifically) were the top forwards on their very young teams while Schenn isn't even on the top d pairing yet.

Make no doubt about it, we all know Schenn will one day be wearing the C and when that day comes I'll even buy you a pint to celebrate it but in my opinion, today is just too early.

Kohma said...

Have to agree with tbot and HLF. Too much pressure for him in his sophomore year. He will already be subject to intense scrutiny.

Andy13 said...

Yeah I definitely agree with Tbot, HLF, and Kohma on this one. As much as I believe Schenn is going to be a lock on the Leafs D for the next 10+ years, I don't think now is the right time to give him that kind of responsibility. He needs a couple more years of being around the guys and learning how to be a leader on and off the ice before the 'C' should be on his jersey.

eyebleaf said...

Nothing about Schenn's development so far has been by the book. Why start now?

Remember: I'm coming from the Costanza school of reasoning.

Moneypuck said...

I'm a little wary on doing this. I think Schenn is great, but again its a matter of sample size IMO. Is he really this good already, so many times rookies regress a bit just because they played a little over their heads in their first year.

I'm not saying Luke will be worse, but at his age theres so much question marks and things that need to be taken care of in terms of development that adding a C in my opinion just isn't the right timing, at least wait one more season.

I would just give it to Kaberle. If hes gone after the year and Schenn does well again then make him the C until hes retired, dead or a free agent.

Mattt said...

I kinda like the whole no captain thing. Like the knights of the round table there was no head. Everyone is equal...

sarah said...

No. Not necessarly because he's too young, but because he needs room to mistakes. Schenn is quickly turning into my favourite player on this team, and I respect that he is able to handle a lot of responsibility, but the risk of stunting his development with this is too high.