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There are a few common perceptions about Roberto Luongo that the goaltender and the Vancouver Canucks want to re-frame as misconceptions.
"He’s an All-Star goalie,” veteran Canucks GM Mike Gillis told ESPN.com Monday. "It’s a completely media-driven notion that we have to do this quickly and it’s going to be a terrible situation [if Luongo starts the season in Vancouver]. It wasn’t a terrible situation last year and it won’t be this year if he’s here."
Which brings us to another alleged micsonception: That Luongo, fueled by pride and frustrated by the Canucks’ decision to make Cory Schneider their starter, would want out of Vancouver to a destination of his choosing as fast as possible.
Nah. Lou's cool riding the pine in Vancouver.
The netminder told Renaud Lavoie of RDS (translated), and drew on his Olympic experience as an inspiration:
"I have the same 'mindset' that at the Vancouver Olympics. I was number two behind Martin Brodeur at the start of the tournament and I wanted to have fun. This is the same approach now. There are 5 or 6 years, I would not have approached things the same way. But it's no use sulking. "
It's no use sulking is true, but is willing to reconsider its decision and do not prompt transaction, if it passes this season with the Canucks? "No. I'm willing to stay here this season because it will be short. But I do not want to stay here long term.”
Oh, OK … wait, what?
No hasty trade to the Leafs? No short sell to the Florida Panthers? The chance that Luongo could actually spend the season in Vancouver?
The importance of having two goaltenders is understated. In the event the Canucks rid themselves of one, they'll be without a capable backup which kills you in the 82-game season. In the 48-game season, the schedule is tailored for Luongo's strengths, or the way he's been trending over his last 286 games of action. Is that enough of a sample size to make the decision to keep Luongo for an extra season? My take is yes, and, if he's starting again, it again drives up the price. There's no reason right now for the Canucks to move Luongo, as Mike Gillis said, for "any reason other than to improve this hockey club".
1. Let’s all remember that leverage is a thing that a trading team very much likes to have. It’s the reason potential suitors suddenly appear on the radar (cough, Flyers). It’s the reason disgruntled goalies suddenly become a bit harder to pry from their teams because they’re sooooo happy to be second fiddle.
2. Interesting example, that Olympic one. You know, that time when Roberto Luongo was passed over for a starting job, and then took over that job when the starter faltered, and then was between the pipes when his team advanced to win a championship in Vancouver ...