The greatest thing about the Philadelphia Flyers having alleged interest in acquiring Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo is that he’d be going from the Western Conference’s goaltending graveyard to a city that, by comparison, makes Canucks netminders appear to have the job security of Alex Trebek.
In true Sports Media 2.0 fashion on Wednesday night, former NHLer turned TVA hockey insider Enrico Ciccone tweeted that the Flyers had interest in Luongo. And everyone laughed, because it was Enrico Ciccone. Then James Duthie of TSN tweeted that yes, in fact, the Flyers are interested in Luongo. And everyone was like “what what WHAT?!” Because TSN, that’s why.
Now, interest is a funny thing. For example, I’m interested in sleeping with Scarlett Johansson. Alas, “taste” and “free will” are among her many assets, as they are with Luongo, who wields a no-trade clause.
Would Luongo ever agree to a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers?
At the very least, he’d go a team that assured to be a perennial contender, which is something neither the Florida Panthers nor the Toronto Maple Leafs can claim with confidence.
Why would the Flyers want Luongo? Obviously because they need a backup goalie.
But seriously: That Bryzgalov would be given one of the two compliance buyouts next summer under the new CBA is being treated as a given in some circles. Luongo would, in theory, give the Flyers the netminder they’ve coveted. And yet his contract (through 2022, $5,333,333 cap hit) could be just as burdening as Bryzgalov’s (through 2020, $5,666,667 cap hit) given the CBA’s new rule that shares punishment for cap circumventing deals between trade partners – a.k.a. the Luongo Rule.
Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News spoke with GM Paul Holmgren, who said, "That made me chuckle. Safe to say they aren't true. They have no basis or merit." And Holmgren has never mislead anyone ...
So we continue to wait to find out Luongo’s fate. Will it be a trade to the Panthers, who don’t need a goalie? Will it be a trade to the Leafs, where Luongo can smoothly transition to his new team knowing that he already got a general manager fired? Does he remain in Vancouver to redefine “awkward”? Or will he agree to be the recipient of murderous death stares from Bryzgalov on the Flyers’ bench for 48 games ... ?
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- Enrico Ciccone