Have we finally reached the boiling point? The Roberto Luongo trade rumors have taken flight.
Didn’t we see this coming?
For the last three years people came to the conclusion Cory Schneider would be the goalie traded out of Vancouver. Remember, Luongo was the franchise with the unmovable contract.
Whenever you play in a media center like a Toronto, Montreal, or Vancouver there’s a shelf life that comes with it. It doesn’t take long for you to become yesterday’s news.
Especially for superstar goaltenders.
Didn’t this happen to Patrick Roy in Montreal a few years back?
I’m not ready to place all the blame on the media but then again who else do you blame? The media creates a perception that Luongo isn’t getting the job done. The Canucks went from a team last season that won games 3-1 while outshooting the opponent to a team this season that won games 3-1 while being outshot on a number of occasions.
The Canucks averaged a NHL worst 1.60 goals per game in the playoffs, yet it’s Luongo’s fault.
When it doubt blame Luongo.
The distraction, just from Luongo’s presence alone, has been there last few years but for the most part he handled it well. This season, especially in the playoffs, the distraction spilled over to the rest of the team. That’s when as an organization you have to decide what’s best for the team moving forward.
Earlier this week Luongo revealed he would waive his no-trade clause if the team wants to move him. Did this really come as a shock?
You think he’d rather stay in Vancouver and deal with the circus? Luongo can probably deal with it, but can the people around him? As an athlete you accept the pressure and controversy that comes with playing the position in a market like Vancouver. It’s a lot more difficult watching your wife and loved ones put through the ringer. You welcome the change more for your family than you do for yourself.
It’s like playing quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys or the New York Giants. It can be miserable when you lose but you can go from goat to hero in a hurry if you’re successful.
It’s no secret Luongo carries a long-term deal that takes him to 43 years old.
The Canucks stretched the deal as far as they could to bring the cap number down. Did they think he’d play for $1 million at the age of 43? I guess it’s possible but by that time he’ll have so much money tucked away he may just walk away.
That day could come before 43 especially if he isn’t starting. Will he want to backup at the age of 40? He’s due $3.382 Million at 40 so that may be enticing enough to sit on the bench.
Personally I don’t think his contract is impossible to move. There are teams that still view him as an elite NHL goaltender who are probably willing to take a shot. He still has plenty of marketability and will create an instant PR splash and sell plenty of tickets.
Sources say his wife still spends plenty of time in Florida and would welcome a move to Tampa Bay or even back to the Panthers.
Certainly would be less stressful.
Canucks in a Bind?
Sources close to the situation tell me Schneider won’t sign a long-tem deal as long as Luongo is there. Why would he? This guy is ready to be a number one goaltender and it does him no good to be caught in the middle of the drama.
With that said the Canucks can’t trade Luongo without locking up Schneider first.
There’s a chance Schneider signs a one-year deal this summer and then signs an extension after January first, 2013, as long as Luongo isn’t in the picture. Assuming the same CBA rules apply, Schneider can’t sign until January 1st but he could agree to a deal beforehand.
Arbitration is a possibility this summer for Schneider but being just one-year away from UFA he can only receive a 1 year award.
You can’t blame the Canucks for not turning their back on a rising star like Cory Schneider. This should be a lesson for every other team considering these 10-15 year deals. Do they ever work out?
There’s no question what the fanbase in Vancouver is hoping for but then again how long will it be before they turn on Schneider?
It’s only a matter of time.
More to come,
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