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Even the editorial section is piling on Roberto Luongo

Oct 21, 2011, 2:10 PM EDT

Roberto Luongo Getty Images

As documented right here on Pro Hockey Talk, it’s been a rough week for Vancouver Canucks netminder Roberto Luongo. It began on Tuesday night, when Bobby Loo got the ol’ Bronx cheer after allowing four goals to the Rangers.

That was bad, but Luongo’s response made it worse. He told reporters the Bronx cheer was no big deal.

Why no big deal?

“It has happened so many times, I’ve gotten used to it,” he said.

And just when it seemed the situation couldn’t get any worse…it got worse. Yesterday, the Vancouver Province — a daily tabloid that once featured a very handsome Canucks blog — ran a scathing review of Luongo and suggested he be traded to Tampa Bay in exchange for Vincent Lecavalier.

Normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal, as the Province sports section has been known to break out the torches and pitchforks on occasion.

But this article didn’t run in the sports section.

It was an editorial.

Patience has clearly run out, especially with backup Cory Schneider appearing to be the better player.

Many people say the Canucks made a huge mistake in signing Lou to a 12-year, $64-million no-trade contract in 2009 because it makes parting with him impossible. So here’s our solution.

Trade Luongo straight up for Vincent Lecavalier of the Tampa Bay Lightning, who has a similar, $85-million, 11-year no-trade deal. With Steve Stamkos in Tampa, Lecavalier is no longer top dog and could use a fresh start as much as Lou.

Tampa needs better goaltending; we need a power forward. Lou’s wife could finally be closer to her family, and Lecavalier could play hockey again in a city that actually cares about his sport.

It’s a win-win-win-win (Lou, Vince, Cory, fans) solution.

Traditionally, newspaper editorials are reserved for opinion pieces on politics, pertinent social matters, letters and hot-button issues. Then there’s Vancouver, where they use it to debate who the starting hockey goalie should be.

Unsurprisingly, the Province’s Editor-in-Chief, Wayne Moriarty, caught some heat for running this piece. Today he took to Twitter to defend it:


And herein lies the problem with playing sports in Vancouver. It’s a bare market. There’s not much else to distract the natives — there’s no baseball, there’s no football (well, there’s Canadian football), the Grizzlies left for Memphis years ago and the soccer team plays soccer.

Plus, Vancouver doesn’t have much experience with polarizing sports figures. The most contentious athletes in Vancouver history are Luongo, Todd Bertuzzi, Pavel Bure and…that’s it. Some would throw Mark Messier in the mix, but he only played in Vancouver for three seasons (and left over 10 years ago).

Compare that with Philadelphia. In the last two years alone, its sports teams have acquired Michael Vick, Allen Iverson, Pedro Martinez, Chris Pronger, Vince Young and Jaromir Jagr. Repeat: all those guys have been acquired over the last two years.

Now there’s a city that knows controversial athletes.

  1. rainyday56 - Oct 21, 2011 at 2:35 PM

    The current Canuck ownership made their fortune buying, developing and holding “bargain” real estate. When they first bought into Orca Bay entertainment which also owned the arena, a Province writer passed on a quip that the arena roof better not spring a leak, a kind of a shot at their holding company’s record as landlord.

    Well now they have a big leak in goal that club spokesman Lawrence Gilman is denying. Typical.

  2. imleftcoast - Oct 21, 2011 at 2:46 PM

    Gino Odjick, Matt Cooke, Sundin, Crow, Ryan Kesler, Burrows bites fingers, Rome 4 game suspension, Torres thunderous hit. Did you guys move or just jump ship for more money?

    • Mike Halford - Oct 21, 2011 at 3:18 PM

      Congrats on being the only person alive that thinks Aaron Rome is a polarizing player. And that includes Aaron Rome.

      • imleftcoast - Oct 21, 2011 at 4:38 PM

        The 4-game suspension was horseshit, and a continuation of the conspiracy. Get a grip Halford.

  3. seaner44 - Oct 21, 2011 at 3:11 PM

    Hard enough to trade one player with a no movement clause let alone two of them. Wayne should stick to what he is good at and stay away from the sports side of things, maybe let the Kurtenbloggers write for them as a side job.

  4. canucks18 - Oct 21, 2011 at 3:31 PM

    You writers are such a joke. With pen in hand and keyboard you think you have some devine right to put such garbage writing out there trying to hang Luongo in a tree… You guys are a joke.

    • seaner44 - Oct 21, 2011 at 3:38 PM

      It is a response to an editorial. They didnt write it. Relax.

  5. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Oct 21, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    Tampa Bay will NOT trade away Vinny straight up for him. What a ridiculous suggestion

    • danphipps01 - Oct 21, 2011 at 4:28 PM

      No kidding. Giving up a slowing fifty-point forward for a Vezina contender? They’d probably think Mike Gillis was joking and hang up the phone.

  6. atwatercrushesokoye - Oct 21, 2011 at 4:30 PM

    Looooooooooou! Haha! That contract is untradeable, if Tampa were somehow to be able to move Lecavalier, why would they take a mediocre goalie with an overpriced contract in return? Keep dreaming potheads, while your window may be open you’ve got the great white whale standing in the way of getting through it….ironically though Loooooooooooou would let a beach ball through said window if it were thrown his direction!

    Anyone know where I can see a good riot?

    • danphipps01 - Oct 21, 2011 at 4:39 PM

      I’mma take a wild guess and say your team wasn’t in the Final. Neither was mine, but I’m not especially bitter toward the teams that were over it.

      • grudenthediva - Oct 22, 2011 at 12:53 PM

        I’mma take a wild guess and say you’re a little queen.

        Or a Caniac.

  7. paulsdamnblog - Oct 21, 2011 at 4:49 PM

    As a fan of all 4 major sports teams in Philadelphia, I must say… Damn we have picked up a lot of controversial figures in 2 years. Imagine if we looked back at the 10 years between now and Messier’s last in Vancouver!!! It’d be a damn phone book.

  8. johnnycanucklehead - Oct 21, 2011 at 8:40 PM

    The only solution to Roberto’s predicament is Occupy Luongo:

  9. occupyluongo - Oct 22, 2011 at 1:05 AM

    Occupy Luongo Facebook –

    Luongo represents the 1% of over-paid athletes, that don’t care about the fans.

    Time for a change.

  10. taytay099 - Oct 22, 2011 at 1:10 AM

    Lets not forget Kyle Wellwood! Is PHT going to have a game of “What’s Welly doing”?

  11. Chris Ross - Oct 22, 2011 at 1:11 PM

    This isn’t a ridiculous notion at all to suggest it. It would be unbelievable if the Canucks could dump him. However, it most likely isn’t at all possible with his crazy bad contract. Considering Mike Milbury is now analyzing and Richard Wang already has a 15 year goaltender, I can’t see any GM in his right mind take on Luongo at this point. It’s getting pretty bad in Vancouver, so it’s going to be tough to imagine that 11 more years of Luongo is even liveable at this point. But the Canuck fans are stuck with him and are going to have to find a way to fight through it. He isn’t going anywhere and that’s the sad reality of it. It’s even worse knowing a very capable, much less expensive Cory Schneider is waiting in the wings.

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