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Trade Bait: Roberto Luongo

Apr 1, 2013, 12:40 PM EDT

Roberto Luongo AP

The NHL’s trade deadline is Wednesday, April 3. Following is a player that may be moved. For more “Trade Bait,” click here.

Much has happened in the four years since the Vancouver Canucks announced they’d signed goalie Roberto Luongo to a long-term contract that would keep him club property through 2021-2022.

The Canucks went all the way to Stanley Cup finals in 2011, losing to the Bruins in seven games. Luongo, 33, was both brilliant and brutal in that series, though it was the brutal that most people remember.

A new CBA has since outlawed the type of contract Luongo received.

But most importantly so far as this story is concerned, Cory Schneider has emerged as the Canucks’ number-one netminder.

“It’s been a great six years, but it’s time to move on,” Luongo said this summer after Schneider took over the starting duties in Vancouver’s first-round playoff loss to the Kings.

Except, of course, he hasn’t moved on. Canucks general manager Mike Gillis, unable to get the deal he wants, has kept Luongo, tacking on another chapter to the soap opera.

All the while, the club has remained adamant it won’t be giving Luongo away.

“We need a third-line center, but no one is going to steal Roberto from us,” assistant general manager Laurence Gilman told TSN recently. “We’re not moving him for a rental. We need something for today and tomorrow.”

Toronto has been the most discussed potential destination of late, with center Tyler Bozak — a pending unrestricted free agent — being the name that pops up most as far as a return is concerned.

But the Leafs, like other teams looking for a long-term fix in net, have options. Other goalies that could be targeted include Ottawa’s Ben Bishop, Buffalo’s Ryan Miller, and L.A.’s Jonathan Bernier.

The Leafs could also choose to do nothing and stick with the tandem of James Reimer and Ben Scrivens. Or, they could seek a short-term insurance policy like Calgary’s Miikka Kiprusoff or Edmonton’s Nikolai Khabibulin.

That’s not to say Toronto is the only team that may may be looking to address its goaltending, either now or in the offseason. Tampa Bay, Florida, Washington, and New Jersey are but four teams where the position is, at the very least, unsettled for the future. Philadelphia is another, though the Flyers already have a goalie signed to a long-term contract.

If the Canucks don’t move Luongo by Wednesday’s deadline, they’ll go into the playoffs with almost $10 million in cap space dedicated to goalies.

“From an efficiency standpoint, to have $9.33 million invested in two goaltenders when only one of them can play is clearly not the most efficient use of resources” Gilman said. “That being said … Roberto is still in the prime of his career and can stabilize a NHL team for years to come. That’s an asset that’s extremely hard to come by. It would be foolish for us to trade Roberto for a rental player.”

Update (4:34 p.m. ET):

  1. canucks30 - Apr 1, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    I think it’s Luongo time for the Canucks

    • comeonnowguys - Apr 1, 2013 at 1:55 PM

      Sorry, this was still much better, blasphemous as it may be to post it here.

  2. blomfeld - Apr 1, 2013 at 1:16 PM


    The bottom line is that Luongo is no different than a bunch of bananas sitting “unsold” on the grocery store shelf. Bananas are a “perishable” product with a limited shelf life. And therefore there comes a point when dropping the price for “unsold” bananas is no longer an option … it’s a given. I submit to you friends that the time for dropping the asking price for these Canuckle bananas is now! And if they don’t do that, then I fear that Luongo could end up being “given away” much like the grocery store who is compelled to donate “unsold” produce to charity and food banks.

    Executive Summary: Luongo will end up back in Florida with either the Bolts or the Panthers, probably the former … at least “half” of his remaining 40 million dollar contract will be absorbed by the Canucks on their books as a loss under “depreciation” … some “cosmetic” face-saving assets will come back to Vancouver in return … once back in Florida, Luongo will probably “excel” to Vezina-like levels …

  3. gbar22 - Apr 1, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    Why does everyone insist upon mentioning New Jersey as a possible destination for luongo? I understand it must seem logical to those who do not follow the team to say “hey brodeur is old they need a goalie” but brodeur is signed through next season and so is Johan hedberg. The team is trying to win now so tell me does it make sense to trade assets for a 34 year old goalie who you don’t even need until 2015? No it doesn’t anyone inside New Jersey and who covers the team no one even talks about luongo this is just a product of an uncreative lazy sports writer throwing darts. Now if you were talking bernier it would make more sense I could see the angle of letting him play behind brodeur for a year and hedberg retiring at seasons end but not an established number one great goalie. It’s more likely the devils will use whatever assets they have to target a top six forward someone like Hemsky.

    • Jason Brough - Apr 1, 2013 at 3:23 PM

      Friend, all I said about the goaltending in New Jersey is that the “position is, at the very least, unsettled for the future.”
      I am well aware that New Jersey has a goalie in Martin Brodeur. He is, in fact, quite a famous hockey player who has been shown on TV from time to time.
      I am simply trying to paint a picture of the goalie market.

  4. gbar22 - Apr 1, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    Also luongo to the panthers doesn’t make much sense either the team is very high on markstrom which is why they didn’t go full out for luongo from the beginning even though luongo could have helped them in the intermediate to be a playoff contender. The panthers are a team under tallon that is building with youth one look at their prospects and its not hard to envision a future like the hawks have experienced. I doubt luongo truly fits into those plans. The Tampa bay lightning however I can very easily see going for luongo as they very much want to win now and desperately need some solid goaltending.

  5. imleftcoast - Apr 1, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    What about Luongo to the Rangers?

  6. jaybird22seven - Apr 1, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    What about the Bruins ?
    He might want to go there. Maybe

  7. yvrmike - Apr 1, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    why dont you pretend for a minute that you are the owner of Tampa or Florida. You look at a team like the oilers which have been on rebuilt mode for 10 years and have not gonne anywhere – WHY? =goaltending
    Tampas owner looks at his team and sees that he has a team that can go into the playoffs 1st and 2nd round now and for the next 5 years with a goaltender like Luongo – So what can Yzerman say to him that he has not already said – Yzerman took a chance and signed 2 back up goalies and failed. So now he has put himself in the corner and needs to make a decision by Wednesday.
    Panthers owner much the same except they do have a younger team. If they can get Luongo at least he will be able to help the back ups that he signed last year.
    I think Vancouver will either have to swallow some of Luongos cap hit or may package him up with an AHLr to get something good from Tampa or Florida.
    Lets look at Philly, they signed there goalie just last year how many other teams attempted to sign him.
    All i can say is that where ever Luongo goes he will elevate that team for the next 5 years for sure and maybe more who knows.
    Do you take a chance on trading for Luongo OR do you take a chance in missing the playoffs again?

  8. valoisvipers - Apr 1, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    Just say no to Luongo!

  9. zappxx - Apr 1, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    Only one real possibility – Luongo and a pick to TB for Lecavalier and Garon. Nux get the C and backup G they need, TB gets a semi-functional goalie, Luongo is back in no-income-tax Florida, and both teams can do compliance buyouts in 14 months without much hand-wringing.

  10. tbbolts91 - Apr 1, 2013 at 4:28 PM


  11. yvrmike - Apr 1, 2013 at 7:39 PM

    i think Tampa is the best suited team for Luongo. They have a veteran team that needs to win now. With Luongo in the line up they have a chance of getting back on track and make the playoffs this year. Without Luongo NO 2013 PLAYOFFS and maybe no 2014 playoffs. Guys just look at the talent that Edmonton has BUT NO GOALIE and NO playoffs
    Believe me Tampa will not be buying out Luongo. He is good for another 5-6 + years and if they want they can buy him out in 2018-2019.

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