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Luongo: I’ll waive my no-trade clause

Apr 24, 2012, 2:50 PM EDT

Los Angeles Kings v Vancouver Canucks Getty Images

The Vancouver Canucks conducted their exit interviews with the media today and, as expected, much of the intrigue surrounded goaltender Roberto Luongo.

After being essentially usurped as the No. 1 goalie — backup Cory Schneider took over with the Canucks down 0-2 in their series to the Kings, and played exceptionally well — many wondered if Luongo would want to stay in Vancouver.

From TSN:

In his final media availability of the season in Vancouver on Tuesday, Luongo told reporters that he would be willing to waive his no-trade clause if general manager Mike Gillis asked him to.

“It’s always been about the team first,” he said. “I prefer to do what’s best for the team. It’s a unique circumstance with a guy [Schneider] who’s going to dominate the league.”

Luongo’s two years into a 12-year, $64 million extension. While the numbers “12″ and “64″ might cause some GMs to choke on their foie gras (or, in the case of Brian Burke, the bison he killed with his bare hands), the contract isn’t completely immovable.

Given the deal was front-loaded, Vancouver has already paid over $16 million of his salary. Also consider that Luongo’s average annual cap hit is $5.33 million — which, according to Capgeek, is only the eighth-highest among all NHL goalies (well, eighth if you include the $5.63 million Chicago is paying Cristobal Huet to play in Switzerland.)

  1. cableguymike - Apr 24, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    Classy player. Have nothing but respect for the guy and he deserves a big time tribute when he comes back to town. Best goalie in franchise history. Time to move forward with Schneider though.

    And to anyone who doesn’t think that the Canucks will get something substantial back you are delusional haters that need to have your head checked. He’s a goalie that makes the team he goes to better and stabilizes their goalie situation for the foreseeable future.

    • govtminion - Apr 24, 2012 at 2:59 PM

      I agree with the first part of your statement, but ‘Luongo’ and ‘stability’ aren’t words I associate with each other. Other than the Olympics, I can’t think of a situation where he’s been huge in a high-pressure situation. Even when he’s won tough playoff series, it seems like he’s pretty hot-and-cold, and it’s rare to point at his play as being a major reason that the Canucks moved on.

      He’s a great goalie to get you INTO the playoffs, as with this year, but when it really comes time to shine I’d want to have a backup like Vancouver did the past couple of years who they can trust to bail them out when Luongo does his usual crumbling.

      • cableguymike - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:10 PM

        There is no doubt he will thrive in a less hockey crazy market I’m sure. Vancouver is one of the toughest in the NHL. Win or lose.

        That being said, the guy still posted TWO shutouts at the biggest time of the year in games where there was zero margin for error.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Apr 24, 2012 at 4:54 PM

        True, we’ve only seen how Luongo handles playoff pressure in a hockey-crazy market that scrutinizes his every move. We have no idea how much differently he would perform under the pressure or lack thereof in Tampa.

      • govtminion - Apr 24, 2012 at 5:08 PM

        Which only reinforces, to me, why Toronto isn’t just a bad fit for him, but probably the worst possible fit in the NHL for him. If Vancouver put too much pressure on him, Toronto would eat him alive and make a sculpture out of his bones.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Apr 24, 2012 at 5:11 PM

        My thoughts exactly. As cool as it would be to have a guy who can actually stop pucks and mentor Reimer a bit, life would be far from easy for him as a Leaf.

      • cableguymike - Apr 24, 2012 at 7:26 PM

        Agreed. I can’t see him waiving his NTC to go to Toronto. There’s no way.

    • soupy19 - Apr 24, 2012 at 7:52 PM

      What would you classify as a substantial return for Luongo? What precedent setting trade of a goalie of Luongo’s profile can you refer to where the team trading away the goalie got a substantial return? I would assume Luongo would only waive his NTC to a team that has a shot to win the cup or is close to being in that category. So that eliminates at least half of the teams in the league. And he’s only going to go to a team that actually needs a goalie and a team that he knows he’s going to be the undisputed #1 goalie. Everyone keeps tossing Tampa’s name around and Toronto’s name around. Who else? Florida? Regardless of who these teams are, don’t you think the GM of these teams know that Gillis’ hands are tied and will exploit that advantage? And don’t think that these GM’s know that there are other goalies available with the same credentials as Luongo but more managable contracts? Tim Thomas and Kiprusoff anyone? I know you want to believe that Luongo will fetch a considerable return. But unfortunately it just won’t happen.

      • cableguymike - Apr 25, 2012 at 6:01 PM

        Most people seem to believe either you can’t trade him because of his contract (which is crazy) or that if they do get rid of him it’ll be for a bag of pucks.

        Lou will net the team something that will help them moving forward. I don’t see Tim Thomas or Kipper moving this year. At least for sure not Kipper. So the goalie market is pretty thin. A team like Tampa could go after an unproven or lesser goalie as a stop gap approach but haven’t they all ready done that and failed.

        If a team like Tampa has Lou last season they make the playoffs. Without question.

    • blomfeld - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:30 PM

      “Best goalie in franchise history” ? …

      Friend … either you’re < 19 years old or you've sustained some memory loss along the way ? Ever heard of a guy called "Captain" Kirk McLean ? … how about "King" Richard Brodeur ? … heck, even "Suitcase" Gary Smith was more of an icon here than your $65 million Michelin man !

      • cableguymike - Apr 25, 2012 at 5:57 PM

        Yeah, no.

        The three goalies you named did not have the same level of sustained success as Lou has had. As is evidenced by the numbers. Loved McLean but Lou beats him. And Richard Brodeur is known for a single long shot playoff run where they were ultimately swept in the finals. Imagine the backlash if that happened with Lou in goal!

      • jdd428 - Apr 25, 2012 at 9:54 PM

        McLean is the best of those three and Luongo is 10x the goalie McLean was.

      • blomfeld - Apr 25, 2012 at 11:48 PM

        Cableguymike … those three guys also didn’t play in the era of today, where goalies and their pads are as big as a billboard sign on the side of a highway ! :)

  2. mj2sexay - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    Roberto needs to go somewhere that’s not hockey INSANE.

    If Brodeur retires I could see New Jersey being a fit if they can find the cap room or if they lose Parise. Tampa Bay jumps off the page as a great fit for Luongo although I don’t think Stevie Y will be looking to use his assets on a 32 year old with a big contract. Florida would be a fit if they didn’t have Markstrom waiting in the wings. I’d love to see Burke acquire Luongo, if only so we can all begin to call him a hypocrite along with the other adjectives that usually get tossed his way, but if I were Luongo, Toronto would be a spot I’d say no too.

    • claysbar - Apr 24, 2012 at 4:49 PM

      When I first read this I said yes, but how would he be in a market where they are used to a Brodeur? (sp?) I really think on paper it works, but not sure in reality. Luongo’s cap hit is actually better than Brodeur’s, so it would really help them in re-signing Parise. Another thing is what do they have to offer that they can really afford to give up. Just started to re-fill the cabinets so to speak in the minors, but at the same time Vancouver would probably give him up for a song just to move the salary and the off ice controversy.

      • mj2sexay - Apr 25, 2012 at 1:04 AM

        All fair points. The Devils are top-heavy in that they won’t want to give up players like Zajac or Kovi, but they don’t have that second tier, and prospect talent that they can give up for a player like Luongo (they aren’t trading Larsson, and Merril/Tedenby/Yoyo wouldn’t get it done unless two of them were included). I was really looking at it just in terms of a market he could flourish in, and I do believe New Jersey would be PERFECT for his disposition, and prospects of winning.

        As I said, I really think Tampa would be the PERFECT fit, but I just see Yzerman going younger (trade for Bernier or Neuvirth, even signing Harding). Tampa doesn’t have much in the way of prospects either, but it’s pretty well documented the assets they piled up in terms of picks.

      • sheapuck - Apr 25, 2012 at 9:06 AM

        The only way it works on paper is if they lose Parise. Roboerto has a larger cap hit than Broduer does and Parise is going to be demanding a huge chunk of change. Then, is NJ really a cup contender even with Luongo and no Parise?

  3. nobandwagoners - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    Luongo has been and continues to be unfairly criticized as a goalie who cannot handle pressure situations.

    As with any goalie you can point to poor performances and goals; it is just that in Vancouver with the goofy print media here who have to sell papers (and hockey is THE game in town) and many delusional and acerbic fans, every instance get focussed on and brought up again and again such that it builds this wrapping that “it must be true because everybody says it”.

    Luongo does not deserve to be ridden out of town like he been. It reflects poorly on Vancouver fans for the poor treatment thrown at Luongo over the years (the media is a lost cause). If he does, in fact go, I wish him well and I hope he knows not all Vancouver fans threw him under the bus.

    • blomfeld - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:34 PM

      “All I care about is that “I” win the Stanley Cup” …

  4. sabatimus - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    Luongo’s right about one thing: Schneider is going to be HOF material. Reminds me of when Harry Howell won the Norris and then said that Bobby Orr would win the award from then on.

  5. ray2013 - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    Luongo said he would waive his NTC. Does that mean he’d go anywhere the Canucks can make a deal, or would he have a list of teams he’d go to?

    • govtminion - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:48 PM

      Now that IS a good question. With his age, and having played in New York and Florida with no playoff runs to show for it all those years prior to Vancouver, I’d have to think he wouldn’t want to go somewhere that’s in a rebuilding situation- he’d want to go somewhere that looks like it’s one top-tier goaltender away from a big playoff run at the least. But how many teams are there that really are more than a couple of years away from being able to make a run? Columbus is a lost cause, but I can’t think of anyone else who is in truly awful shape right now.

      I’ve gone in a circle, now that I re-read that. He wouldn’t want to go to a rebuilding team, but since most of the league is either in good shape now, or at least in bad shape but not needing a goalie, why leave anyone off the table (Columbus excluded) for a trade option?

      Very interesting times in the league, aren’t they?

      • blomfeld - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:36 PM

        “All I care about is that “I” win the Stanley Cup” … Roberto Luongo

    • vanchuk - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:51 PM

      He has the final say in the matter, as it is a full no-trade-clause. He is not required to give a list. That being said, I think that Mike Gillis knows where he would and would not want to play and seeing as how Gillis is trying to create a player friendly atmosphere, I believe he will do everything in his power to find a trading partner that Luongo would approve of.

      Luongo has been a phenomenal goaltender here in Vancouver, and has PLENTY of big game experience. He has put up excellent numbers in the regular season, he has won playoff series and progressed and matured and also has a gold medal on his resume. Sure, the Canucks won’t get the same return as they would on Schneider, but they will get something. His contract is long, but the cap hit is only $5.33mil and the actual money paid out gets lower and lower, which makes him more attractive to budget conscious teams as they can ensure that they are reaching the floor while not having to spend all that money. I’m not sure what the return will be, but I could see a pick (perhaps a 2nd), a mid-high level prospect and an overpaid player coming back to balance the cap hits.

      • ray2013 - Apr 24, 2012 at 6:33 PM

        Luongo is very smart, and he’s saying all the right things. But saying you’ll waive in general is one thing; being asked to waive it to go to Columbus is another.

        We still have no real clue on whether Gillis would get to make the best trade possible, or whether he’d be forced to make the fourth or fifth-best trade possible in order to get a deal done.

  6. salmon90 - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    I’ve always been a supporter and defender of Luongo and despite him being a remarkably high paid athlete I’ve felt sorry for the amount of scrutiny he’s faced – both from the media, opposition fans and a certain fraction of Canuck fans. What other goalie goes 5-0 in the Olympics with a 1.76 GAA, winning 3 must-win games and then gets butchered by the media for being shaky. If Brodeur had posted those numbers they’d be finishing off his statue outside of Rogers Arena. His performance last year in the final was very inconsistent and he was clearly outplayed (two shut-outs, 2-3 bad performances). That being said, goaltending was one of many reasons we lost that final and to pin it on Luongo is just lazy. Bottom line is that with all things being equal between him and Schneider – you have to go with Schneider. He’s younger and not locked in for 10 years. That’s a no-brainer. I hope that if a trade does happen, Luongo is able to get himself into a good situation. I would like nothing more than to see him win a cup – unless it’s against the Canucks (wouldn’t that be a crazy final!)

    • kitshky - Apr 24, 2012 at 4:18 PM

      (well said)

    • blomfeld - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:37 PM

      “All I care about is that “I” win the Stanley Cup” … Roberta Luongo

  7. icelovinbrotha215 - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    Well we shall what happens from here. The ball is in the Cunucks’ court.

  8. uscthom78 - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    Either he gets the wade redden treatment or the kontinental treatment (lok).

    • govtminion - Apr 24, 2012 at 4:23 PM

      Trolling aside, I’d love to hear your reasoning.

      • uscthom78 - Apr 24, 2012 at 6:07 PM

        I could be wrong since I didn’t acknowledge the possibility that he could be flipped for an equally talented former Calder trophy winner.

  9. bcisleman - Apr 24, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    Have to disagree that the contract, as things stand now, “isn’t completely immovable”. I doubt Luongo will waive his clause to go to a bottom dweller with tons of cap space–assuming they’d be willing to (most teams at the cap floor are there by choice) and the teams that are or might be contenders are not going to be able to take his $5.3 hit especially not for 10 more years. He is already a 2nd tier goalie at best. What is he going to be like in 5, much less 10, years?

    For Vancouver to move Luongo and especially for them to get back a decent return, the CBA will have to change to allow Vancouver to assume a significant portion of his cap hit. If that happens, I can see a deal with TBL either for its #10 pick & a prospect or for, say, Ryan Malone to be their Dave Brown. Might need to add something on TBL end if its the latter.

  10. pastabelly - Apr 24, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    He’s 33 years old and the contract calls for cash to be paid out to him to the tune of $6.7 million per year until he’s 39. When he’s 40, it’s still $3.3 million and then tapers down after that. At those rates, it will be very hard to move him without assuming another team’s bad contract (at another position), at least not under the current salary cap.

    • bcousy - Apr 25, 2012 at 12:25 PM

      This from a recent Vancouver Province story:

      “There is an out clause in his contract for the organization he plays for eight years into his deal. He’s just finished year two, so essentially, the team that picks it up will be taking on a six-year deal that will see Luongo earn $40.2 million. His cap hit is $5.33 million a year.”

      Still not great, but less onerous than some are making it out to be.

  11. leepetertk - Apr 24, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    Strange ending for Luongo if he is dealt. For six years he has brought stability to a position the Canucks have desired since the 90s. When he came to Vancouver, the first question was whether he wanted to stay. Now it looks like fans can’t think of enough scenarios for him to leave.

    • kitshky - Apr 24, 2012 at 8:51 PM

      And if people don’t realize that in due time they’re goin to turn on Schneider like they’ve turned on every other goaltender in this city (yes I’m even speakin of Mclean here) they’re fooling themselves.

      Now granted, Schneider does seem to have the perfect makeup to handle this market, and when he was asked about the seemingly inevitable treatment that he’s going to get if they don’t win a Cup he handled it (as always) with class … but I’ve been in this market for too long to trust these fans with any goaltender.

  12. chiadam - Apr 24, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    Now just waive his salary and he’s in business.

  13. leepetertk - Apr 24, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    Who is going to pump Luongo’s tires to facilitate a trade? Tim Thomas is too busy on Facebook.

  14. cableguymike - Apr 24, 2012 at 11:08 PM

    Ummmmm, yeah no. The three goalies you named did not have the same level of sustained success as Lou has had. As is evidenced by the numbers. Loved McLean but Lou beats him. And Richard Brodeur is known for a single long shot playoff run where they were ultimately swept in the finals. Imagine the backlash if that happened with Lou in goal! Now go troll somewhere else.

    • kitshky - Apr 25, 2012 at 12:54 AM

      …who are you talking to?

      • cableguymike - Apr 25, 2012 at 5:56 PM

        Sorry. The PHT app sucks donkey scrotum.

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