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TSN’s Dreger thinks Luongo would refuse to report to Canucks’ training camp

May 31, 2013, 8:03 AM EDT

Roberto Luongo AP

Earlier this year it was clear that Roberto Luongo wanted to be traded, but he was doing his best to keep the pressure off Canucks GM Mike Gillis.

Now, after a year of playing under Cory Schneider, it sounds like the Canucks need to trade Luongo or he’ll attempt to force their hand.

“You can’t have Luongo and Schneider back together. I don’t think Roberto will report (to training camp). Honestly, I don’t,” TSN’s Darren Dreger said on TSN 1050. “I think he’s done in Vancouver and whatever situation is put in front of him, he’s going to accept.”

There’s no question Vancouver wants to trade him, but it’s far easier said than done. Luongo is 34 years old and comes with a cap hit of $5,333,333 annually through the 2021-22 campaign.

It’s the length of that deal that likely made suitors shy away from Vancouver’s asking price during the summer and 2013 trade deadline. It’s hard to imagine that teams will be more inclined to acquire him now that the salary cap is going down, he’s older, and a year removed from being a clear-cut starter.

That being said, the New York Islanders are reportedly interested in Luongo. They already have a goaltender under a bad contract in Rick DiPietro and any potential deal would theoretically involve the Canucks taking DiPietro and then spending one of their compliance buyouts on him.

Perhaps that will happen, but it sounds like one way or another, Luongo has played in his last game with the Vancouver Canucks.

  1. jcmeyer10 - May 31, 2013 at 8:09 AM

    They missed on selling high. I think this is a case where the Canucks should take into account avoiding a toxic locker room as part of what they would be getting back in a trade.

  2. rainyday56 - May 31, 2013 at 8:33 AM

    Mike Gillis: “Hi Homer, we just moved in. Do you like to watch hockey?

    Homer Simpson: “yes sir”

    MG: “and do you like to eat nachos?”

    HS: “I sure do!”

    MG: “and do you like to drink beer?”

    HS: “do I ever!”

    MG: “I’ll analyze this information and come to a decision whether to invite you when prudent to do do.”

    HS: “SHUT UP GILLIS!

  3. pgaasenbeek - May 31, 2013 at 8:57 AM

    Of course he is not going to show up. Gillis kept him because they could not get enough back in their minds and for insurance in case Schneider went down. gues what, he did. Luongo played great in games 1 and 2. But they start Schneider in 3 and is pulled. Luongo comes in and plays great. But when the season is on the line, the Nucks starts Schneider again. That said to Luongo right there, goodbye. Gillis should have traded him by then of course. They needed a gritty scorer. Instead, they kept Luongo and sat him when it mattered. Why would he show up?

  4. davebabychreturns - May 31, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    The last time Darren Dreger had any inside information pertaining to the Vancouver Canucks was when his cousin was whiffing his way out of a job here.

    I think it’s pretty clear that Luongo’s going to be a lot more enthusiastic about waiving his no trade clause than he was last summer and for that reason (and many others) there is pretty much no chance that he is a Vancouver Canuck come training camp.

    Of course, Luongo is also a consummate professional who has handled this situation with class and respect and for Dreger to claim that’s going to change is completely baseless, nevermind that the scenario is pretty well moot anyways. But what does Dreger care, his job is much more to fill airtime than it is to provide fans with accurate or insightful commentary.

    • kitshky - May 31, 2013 at 11:54 AM

      My thoughts exactly, I generally like Dreger but his track record when it comes to “inside information” from the Canucks is pretty dismal.

      • Cloutier39 - May 31, 2013 at 1:41 PM

        He isn’t trying to provide any inside information. He’s just giving his opinion.

    • kaptaanamerica - May 31, 2013 at 12:40 PM

      Dreger has been talking out of his arse for years. I remember when Luongo first got to VanCity and he was going on about how Luo was keeping the Canucks in games when the system AV was using limited the number of shots against to under 22 or so per night. There were only like two games where the opposition even got to 25 shots on the night and a couple where the were limited to under 20 and this guy was talking smack. The guy is clueless and one of the worst so-called sports reporters out there today.

    • imleftcoast - May 31, 2013 at 1:00 PM

      I completely agree with that last paragraph (and Babych used to work for my dad). The epitome of Toronto arrogance for Darren Dreger to be rumor mongering when Luongo has been a model of professionalism through this one-year process. I hope Dreger is ‘slobberface’ and Burke has served him with a subpoena via his mom’s computer.

  5. thesportsjudge - May 31, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    I’m not sure Luongo making the league minimum would be wanted on most teams. He is a headcase.

  6. kaptaanamerica - May 31, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    It would in fact be great for Vancouver if Luongo doesn’t report until he’s traded. That way they can suspend him, stopping payments to him, and do not have him count on the salary cap. When teams flounder in the first few weeks, Luongo becomes more valuable and teams begin to think about paying his salary and what Vancouver needs in return (nhl ready prospect ( 1 of either a centre or rt shot dman), and draft picks (1st, & 2nd rounder))

  7. kingcobraman - May 31, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    hey Lou I will drive u to the airport…

  8. beavertonsteve - May 31, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    As a Flyer fan I can’t help but notice he checks off all the boxes of a future Flyers goaltender-

    Over 33 – Check
    Huge Salary – Check
    Declining Skills – Check
    Headcase – Check
    Signed through at least one more decade – Check

    I’m pretty sure that if he was born in Russia this would already be a done deal.

    • imleftcoast - May 31, 2013 at 5:47 PM

      He’s ten times the goalie that Bryzgaloz is. You’re listening to the wrong talking heads if you think he’s a head case. Patty Kane is the only guy who gets to him. He was born to score bad goals on Roberto Luongo.

      • beavertonsteve - Jun 1, 2013 at 5:54 PM

        I agree he’s better than Bryz, but I’m including previous Flyers goalie signing failures in the equation as well.

  9. iHeartHockey31 - Jun 4, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    I don’t understand the whole ‘goalie controversy’ in Vancouver. There are several facts being overlooked when it comes to the continued speculation of the ‘controversy’.

    Prior to the start of this season, the Canucks plan when contemplating trading Luongo were for Cory Schneider to take over the starting role and Eddie Lack [the Canucks AHL prospect] to come up as Schneider’s backup. As of late November last year, Lack was on the IR for the remainder of the season. Without a permanent backup for Schneider, any trade invpolving Luongo would have needed to include ANOTHER goaltender, which Vancouver wouldn’t need in the long-run [assuming Lack's injury would have him playing by the start of next season] Until Lack returns or his injury permanently rules him out as a backup for Schneider, Vancouver doesn’t HAVE a spare goaltender to trade away. While his contract isn’t ideal given the lower salary cap, he’s not a terrible netminder — he’s got his ups and downs like every other goalie in the league & Vancouver should be glad they’re able to have TWO ‘starting-caliber’ netminders & continue to use that to their advantage.

    The concept of a ‘starting’ goaltender and ‘dooropener’ [or 'vetern presence'] is antiquated. Look at the teams that are successful from a low [overall team GAA] perspective in the last few season. Teams with TWO reliable, capable goaltender fared better than teams with one [overworked] netminder & a guy who opens doors so often he’s not in game-shape when he is needed. Last year Elliot and Halak combined for the the lowest overall GAA. This year it was Crawford and Emery split the load, with Emery taking on more than an average backup would. They were followed closely [if I'm not mistaken -- by a single goal] by Ottawa, who when Anderson got hurt, Bishop and Lehner split the load for great results. Not to mention the two played in tandem with the lowest GAA for the B-Sens during the lockout. [Personally I think if they'd played Lehner more at the end of the season, they'd have been seeded higher & possibly have been able to win a few more of the games vs the Penguins.]. When Quick didn’t get off to the best season, Bernier stepped up to get the Kings some much needed wins & [possibly] drive Quick to perform better. [Don't get me started on the Fluery-Vokoun thing. Save for the last 2 games -- that was working out quite well for Pittsburgh -- I'm more surprised that having 1/2 of Team Canada on their team they were only able to score ONE goal in TWO games.

    As much as goalies want to play every game, [a] the ‘starting’ netminder needs rest [whether they admit it or not] and [b] the ‘backup’ needs ice time if he’s going to have any chance of actually doing well SHOULD he NEED to play.
    Last season prior to the start of the playoffs, Henrik Lundqvist made comments that Martin Biron had taken on more games than usual, and while he initially wasn’t happy about it, he said he’d felt the best he’d ever felt going into the playoffs that year. And he made it to the Eastern Conference Finals. At the end of this shortened season Lundwvist DID NOT look really good in net. Was it really neccesary to SLAUGHTER the Florida Panthers 6 – 1 ? Martin Biron is a great netminder and could have easily won that AND the next game against Florida where Lundwqvist DID NOT look very well. He wasn’t playing like himself and as a result, they LOST an important game AND continued to wear on Lundqvist headed into the playoffs. He didn’t look to be in top form when the playoffs started & considering he’d basically carried the team this entire season, he may have done a lot better having had some rest & well-rested Biron could have won a few games for them at the end of the season [possibly in the playoffs].
    When your backup sits on the bench for most of the season, he’s not going to be able to step in when needed [either when the 'starter' hits a slump or worse -- gets injured]. Imagine if instead of signing Peter Budaj as a door opener, Montreal had gotten a decent reliable netminder & rotated him into games during the season. When Price hit his slump, there’d have been a reliable goaltender to step in & when Price was injured during the playoffs, they’d have had a decent netminder to possibly carry them to the next round. While the Predators had offensive issues, it was revealed after the season that Rinne had been playing hurt. He wouldn’t have needed to if they’d had a reliable goaltender to go in for him. A ‘backup’ ’1B’ ‘tandem-team-mate’ netminder needs to be somone with enough talent to give their team a chance to win, regardless of who the opposing team is. And if you’re lucky enough to to have a second netminder with this ability, you can’t let is rust/rot away sitting on the bench.

    There’s other advantages to having two GREAT netminders. A coach shouldn’t have an easy decision choosing which netminder to start. Sometimes one goalie may be in a slump or on a streak but often there’s certain teams that may give soe goalies a harder [or easier] time than others. Having a CHOICE between two goaltender for certain situations allows a coach to play off their netminders [or the other team's strenghts & weaknesses]. Better yet SURPRISING the opposition by NOT revealing the starting netminder prior to gametime [even if your the visiting team] will double the amount of video review teams will need to do when scouting opposing netminders. Especially when your GREAT netminders wear their gloves on the opposite hands [not a metaphor] I’d LOVE to see the Penguins just outright LIE to the media and throw Fleury out to start a game after a WIN by Vokoun — just to THROW OFF the other team. Some of the teams have made wing-swaps and other adjustments to better prepare for Vokoun as a right-glove netminder & tossing Fluery in when they’re least expecting it and unprepared for the left glove could only be advantageous. [I'd hate to see what happens if they continue to sit out Fleury should Vokoun get hurt at an integral time & Fluery's now in a high pressure situation having gone several weeks without any REALY ice time].
    Getting back to Vancouver’s ‘controversey’, for as much as Schneider and/or Luongo were upset about Luongo’s continued presence, he didn’t have the most consistent season, allowing Luongo to step in when needed & not putting himself in a situation where he was playing when he shouldn’t have been due to a lack of depth in prospects coming up behind him [with Lack having been injured]. They also seemed to get along fairly well [even if it is just an act] & most of the ‘controversy’ seemed to have been created by the media. I don’t think either had to have anyone tasting their food or worrying about a Belfour-Auld -type of scenario. While maybe they both want to be a ‘Number One’ or ‘Starter’, if more teams would open up their eyes and look at how well ‘tandems’ of TWO GREAT netminders have been successful, the concept of 1A and 1B can fall by the wayside for a ‘agree-results-are-better-when-they-split-the-load’ frame of mind.

    The antiquated concept of a ‘starter’ & ‘backup’ [or 1A & 1B] needs to go in favor of the tandem. Tandems require TWO GREAT goaltenders that understand an 82 game season & several playoff rounds means a decrease from seventy-some games to fourty-some games for one netminder and an increase from ten to twenty-some games to 40-some games for the other.

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