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Luongo to start fourth straight game

Feb 4, 2013, 10:10 AM EDT

Roberto Luongo AP

Assuming Roberto Luongo is even still on the trade market, teams are getting plenty of chances to scout him this season.

Luongo will start in his fourth consecutive game with the Vancouver Canucks on Monday when they take on the Edmonton Oilers, according to NHL.com writer Dan Rosen. The 33-year-old all-star goaltender has allowed just five goals in his previous three contests.

A year or two ago, this wouldn’t have even been news, but the Canucks made a big commitment to goaltender Cory Schneider when they signed him to a three-year, $12 million over the summer. That’s far too much money for a backup, but as it is Schneider hasn’t played since Jan. 27 and reportedly won’t start until Thursday at the very earliest.

Even if this is a goaltending rotation, it’s a very expensive one. Vancouver has committed $9,333,333 in cap space to its goaltender and the cap drops to $64.3 million next season.

Still, because of this season’s condensed schedule, having two top-end netminders could give the Canucks a big edge over the competition.

Meanwhile, there have been rumors that the Washington Capitals are interested in Luongo, especially after Canucks GM Mike Gillis attended the Capitals-Penguins game on Sunday. Gillis also hinted at a potential deal two weeks ago, but that was before Luongo began this string of starts.

  1. nosefacekillah - Feb 4, 2013 at 10:25 AM

    The way Schneider has played this year it will be tough for Gillis to pull the trigger on moving Luongo. That said, I think Washington would be a great fit for him. After watching such poor hockey one both sides of the ice to start the year I bet the Caps are willing to overpay.

    • davebabychreturns - Feb 4, 2013 at 11:02 AM

      Schneider had the one brutal start (along with the rest of the players in front of him) and has been fine since – if not as good as Luongo who has been excellent.

      • stakex - Feb 4, 2013 at 11:47 AM

        actually, hes been roughed up in two out of four starts…. thats hardly “fine”.

      • davebabychreturns - Feb 4, 2013 at 11:53 AM

        I didn’t think his San Jose game was very bad.

        Both of the early goals were on absolutely awful defensive breakdowns, and the Sharks put up powerplay goals later on.

        I think Schneider would have liked a couple of those goals back but the Sharks skaters thoroughly outclassed the Canucks skaters in that game so I have a hard time holding the loss against Cory.

        Anyway I said he had been “fine” since the first game and he has.. .0932 save percentage over that span. If that’s not fine (ie. good enough) I don’t know what is.

  2. valoisvipers - Feb 4, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    The Caps have no need for Lou and his bad contract. Their goalies have not been the cause of this mess that the hapless Caps find themselves in today.

    • jpelle82 - Feb 4, 2013 at 10:57 AM

      pretty sure he meant schneider. i would think thats the reason gilles was at the game. trading schneider makes sense – no one wants luongo’s contract

      • davebabychreturns - Feb 4, 2013 at 11:03 AM

        That’s not true and you probably know it, but whatever floats your boat I guess.

    • stakex - Feb 4, 2013 at 11:52 AM

      While goaltending has not been the Caps only problem, it certainly hasn’t been great… or even good. Far too many soft goals (Holtby let in at least three softies yesterday) have been allowed during close games by the Caps goalies this year, and you can’t have that when your are struggling to get the offense going.

      If the Caps had a true number one goalie, they probably wouldn’t be in the hole they are in right now… or at least not quite as deep of a hole.

  3. themohel - Feb 4, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    The ‘Nucks are going to find it hard to trade Lu, unless it is to a team that is planning on using the amnesty provision after this year or next. The new CBA recapture provisions make it very difficult for either the Canucks or a team that trades for his contract. The cap hit if he retires before 2022 (when he will be kinda old) will be very large. So a team that gets him in trade won’t want to give away the farm for a rental, and the Canucks might just decide to ride it out with him since he is playing so well. If they keep him they will need to amnesty him after this year or next for two reasons; first they are in a bad way, capwise, and second because of the recapture provisions as the contract goes on.

    • davebabychreturns - Feb 4, 2013 at 11:45 AM

      Just so people can make ludicrous statements about Roberto Luongo’s contract and cap recapture penalties with the actual numbers in mind:

      If a team acquired Luongo in the offseason and he retired in 2018, they would have a $6.905m penalty to pay out over four years (that’s $1.7625m per year).
      If he retired in 2019 they would have a $4.954m penalty to pay out over three years ($1.6513m per year).
      If he retired in 2020 they would have a $1.239m penalty to pay out over two years ($0.6195m per year).
      If he retired in 2021 or later they would have no “cap benefit” to recapture.

      Even in the worst case scenario you’re talking about $1.7m per season of dead cap space five years from now, probably approaching 2% of the cap ceiling by then.

      • themohel - Feb 4, 2013 at 11:54 AM

        Thanks for the details, Dave. Lu’s cap hit while he is playing is also about $5.3, which is also a consideration in trading for him – pretty large cap hit now, plus some dead cap space later. There are teams that would trade for him when his salary dips below his cap number but that’s not for a few years. Other teams, the ones that usually operate near the cap ceiling might be a little concerned about that dead cap space – and about the current cap hit on a roster close to the ceiling already. It isn’t a real easy puzzle to solve – it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

      • elvispocomo - Feb 4, 2013 at 2:29 PM

        Good post babych, even better once themohel picked up on it rather than ignoring it.

        @themohel: I could be wrong but it still sounds like you think Luongo’s current cap hit will apply after he retires. If you don’t think that, then no issue, but it’s not a 35+ contract and there’s nothing new in the CBA other than the cap recapture explained above that would have any impact on cap hit after he retires. The cap recapture itself will only have the impact to the cap of a depth guy on the roster – not insignificant, but fairly nominal if the cap rises as it has over the last CBA.

        As far as his cap hit now, it’s better than a number of goalies and shouldn’t be an issue for any team wanting someone of his calibre when considering cap hit versus quality of play. That in itself isn’t a deterrent from someone picking him up unless they can’t afford to pay the salary or don’t have the cap room to fit him in.

  4. steverolley - Feb 4, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    One thing Lu does is make the playoffs, and making the playoffs makes an owner big money.

    I laugh when people say Lu’s contract is too big when the guy can get a bubble team (Toronto, Florida, Washington, Edmonton, Dallas) into the playoffs.

    You put Lu on anyone of those teams and their in the playoffs and anyone in the playoffs can make a run.

    • elvispocomo - Feb 4, 2013 at 2:32 PM

      Yup, if you’re Florida and worried about the cost of his salary, you’re likely to recoup that in both merchandising and the ‘free’ revenue from hosting at least two playoff games. Anything else you get is a further bonus to the bottom line and helps you make the team more competitive so you can build the fanbase, play more playoff games and earn more revenue.

  5. thehighcountrybear - Feb 4, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

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