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Canucks looking to finally trade Luongo at the NHL Draft

Jun 27, 2013, 10:10 PM EDT

Vancouver Canucks v Colorado Avalanche Getty Images

For more than a full year now, Vancouver Canucks general manager Mike Gillis has been trying to move Roberto Luongo and the baggage of his 12-year, $64 million contract.

Could this be the weekend it finally happens?

The Canucks acquired Luongo at the 2006 NHL Draft, and the team will now try to deal him at this year’s draft, a little more than seven full years since he officially began what was a sometimes tumultuous but often successful time in Vancouver.

“We’re going to try and accomplish that goal,” Gillis told the Canadian Press this week. “We’ll see what happens.”

Luongo, now 34 years of age, first appeared destined to be traded when Cory Schneider took over the starting netminder job in the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, which amounted to a first-round defeat for the Canucks at the hands of the L.A. Kings.

Instead, Luongo remained in Vancouver.

Gillis and the Canucks were unable to deal him during last year’s off-season, and again at training camp in January, then during the regular season and in the final minutes leading up to the NHL trade deadline.

This led the Olympic gold medal-winning goalie to unleash one of the best and most appropriate one-liners of the year during a trade deadline press conference: “My contract sucks.”

It became all but official that the Toronto Maple Leafs, after pursuing Luongo prior to the April 3 trade deadline, were out of the running when they acquired Jonathan Bernier from the Kings.

There still could be teams interested in Luongo, although, based on recent history, it’s a total guessing game as to where he may end up.

  1. killerpgh - Jun 27, 2013 at 10:18 PM

    Shocking news!

  2. mrpinkca - Jun 27, 2013 at 10:18 PM

    I don’t see this happening. Who would possibly take on that contract when it’s all but certain they will eventually get burned by the recapture? He’s getting bought out.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jun 27, 2013 at 10:41 PM

      Don’t forget that Gillis is probably going into the draft still thinking he’ll hit a home run with the return when the reality is the “home run return” would be the cap relief the Canucks desperately need. Something tells me come Sunday night Gillis will still be saying “we’re perfectly content going into the season with both goalies” before he unceremoniously buys out the contract right before the deadline.

  3. crazemastercraze - Jun 27, 2013 at 10:27 PM

    He’ll be traded to the Los Angeles Lakers or NY Yankees

  4. bcisleman - Jun 27, 2013 at 10:30 PM

    The only real possibility would be if they were willing to take RDP back. Perhaps Isles might take Ballard and maybe even Booth as well and buyout Ballard with some compensation at the 2014 draft. Otherwise teams will just await the buyout and deal with RL and his agent.

    • mrpinkca - Jun 28, 2013 at 1:11 AM

      You can’t buy out a player you trade for, so from the Canucks perspective that’s not a very palatable deal.

      • davebabychreturns - Jun 28, 2013 at 10:38 AM

        Since when? All we know is that you can’t trade a player and then re-sign them after they’re bought out..

    • davebabychreturns - Jun 28, 2013 at 10:39 AM

      Luongo would never clear waivers, teams like Edmonton or Calgary or Columbus which have little chance to compete for a player of his calibre on the open market would in all likelihood jump on a chance to take on his contract.

  5. lordfletcher - Jun 27, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    I really hope they can’t trade him.

    Out of the entire league I have to imagine the list of clubs willing to think about Lou is down to maybe 5. Of those 5, what are they willing to give up? I think Lou is a very good goalie and will be for another 2-4 years but that’s about it…. With that contract I can’t understand why anyone would take that much of a gamble. Too many things can go wrong, and eventually will.

    • davebabychreturns - Jun 28, 2013 at 10:40 AM

      Lots of goalies play at a high level into their late 30s, but even if Luongo does not there is a team-initiated out clause right around where his salary falls and I would guess that with a rising cap, in a few years there will be no shortage of teams willing to take on a bit of dead cap space attached to a veteran goaltender with a reasonable salary.

  6. 950003cups - Jun 27, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    Maybe some of the teams who don’t have 1st or 2nd picks would be open to listen. Vancouver is gonna have to pony up a lot more than a 1st round pick just to open the conversation.

  7. valarmorghuliss - Jun 27, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    Funny guy, I hope he goes into broadcasting when he’s done playing.

  8. tdrusher225 - Jun 27, 2013 at 11:25 PM

    Who’s going to take him? No one wants to take on that contract. He may have a better chance getting bought out.

  9. pmonte3122 - Jun 27, 2013 at 11:27 PM

    He’ll be traded for poopietro

  10. mrminkus - Jun 27, 2013 at 11:27 PM

    I hear Philly may need a startig goaltender after dumping Iliya!

    • 19to77 - Jun 27, 2013 at 11:56 PM

      Right. Because another questionable headcase with a contract that will not die sounds like the perfect solution.

      Actually. It’s Holmgren we’re talking about. I shouldn’t rule anything out.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Jun 28, 2013 at 12:50 AM

        Even Holmgren isn’t crazy enough to trade for that contract. Especially after just ridding himself of an equally unattractive contract. I think he was sincere when he was asked about Luongo and answered that he didn’t see “how that would work”; but only sincere in semantics… meaning he doesn’t see how a trade would work (cap hit+excessive term), but if he’s bought out the Flyers would definitely be interested. I’m not sure how much interest Luongo would have in a team outside of Florida (he seemed fine with Toronto) but I can certainly picture him in orange and black.

        Gillis is mistaken if he thinks a team will give up any value for Luongo. He missed his trade window and it’s going to be a costly mistake. Why would any team trade for that contract if they can just wait and give him a more team-friendly deal when he’s inevitably bought out?

      • 19to77 - Jun 28, 2013 at 1:37 AM

        Exactly. Any other GM just has to flick over to Vancouver’s Capgeek page and know that they have to move him one way or the other. None of them will give up assets to get a bad contract when the alternative is giving up nothing to get a chance at signing the guy to a better one.

      • narfmoo12 - Jun 28, 2013 at 9:41 AM

        How is Luongo a head case? I’m actually asking, not refuting. To me it seemed like the Canucks would lose 2-1 and blame Luongo, and then bring in Schneider to lose 2-1 and call it a much better game. Seemed to me that the Sedin twins would disappear every May.

      • 19to77 - Jun 28, 2013 at 11:03 AM

        Eh. He’s not, really. A lot of Canucks fans ragged on him for the blowout losses in 2010 and 2011 to Chicago and Boston respectively, but those series still went 6 and 7 games and while he had really, really bad nights, he also had shutouts in the same series.

        He does have a tendency to lose it after a couple quick goals – he’ll look up to the rafters, he’ll seem almost dazed the next time the other team breaks in, and suddenly a couple more will be behind him and they’ll look weak. There was a game near the end of this season against Edmonton that struck me as a good example – he let in a couple that honestly weren’t his fault, but they screwed with his confidence and the Oilers put away two or three more on him in short order.

        Calling him a headcase is overstating it, I admit. He just has confidence issues sometimes. Pressure can get to him. Which, of course, makes Philly probably the worst possible place for him.

  11. gertrudegoat - Jun 27, 2013 at 11:39 PM

    Swapping him for RDP does make some sense – especially since it appears the Isles will not be resigning Nabby.

  12. 19to77 - Jun 27, 2013 at 11:53 PM

    Question is, why would any GM give up assets for an awful contract when they can just open up Vancouver’s Capgeek page and see that Gillis will have to buy him out if he can’t get a trade? The smartest move is standing pat and forcing Gillis’ hand simply by not answering his increasingly desperate phone calls.

  13. jl9830 - Jun 28, 2013 at 12:33 AM

    Does this headline imply that they haven’t been trying for the past one or two years??

    • ray2013 - Jun 28, 2013 at 1:14 AM

      It was a pretty funny headline. Gillis made the comment that he decided it was time to trade Luongo, and I was like, What?? What has he been doing for the past 18 months?

  14. greatminnesotasportsmind - Jun 28, 2013 at 2:05 AM

    It’s too bad they have the amnesty so it won’t count against their cap. I’d love to see Vancouver get stuck paying $2.67 million against their cap for the next 24 years. That would make the Wild’s buyout of Mark Parrish seem small. Oh he still counts nearly a million against the Wild’s cap next season.

  15. deadrabbit79 - Jun 28, 2013 at 5:24 AM

    Well it was reported that the islanders have no interest so you know what that means………

    • spitfisher - Jun 28, 2013 at 8:16 AM

      The islanders have rights to Tim Thomas, perhaps they could hire Luongo to pump his tires

  16. barbarian9 - Jun 28, 2013 at 6:03 AM

    With Tampa Bay buying out Lecavalier, I could see them making a move for Luongo.

    • Mike Williams - Jun 28, 2013 at 8:10 AM

      Why would the Lightning rid themselves of one bad contract for another? It doesnt make sense at all. They just traded for Ben Bishop at the trade deadline, the kid has a bright future if he can learn to shut his five hole.

  17. skarfacci - Jun 28, 2013 at 8:06 AM

    The contract will be distributed among the four major sports leagues as will Hernandez’s contract.

  18. ppw1212 - Jun 28, 2013 at 8:46 AM

    He cant win in the playoffs…..No one wants him or his stupid contract…. Bite the bullet, buy him out and let him sign for 2 mil as Bryz’s back up in NY

  19. lonespeed - Jun 28, 2013 at 8:53 AM

    I think Luongo is going to have a very successful resurgence with someone. He just needs to get out of Vancouver and start over. I think he’ll leave his baggage behind once he’s moves on.

    Those two parties just need to part ways and their is nothing wrong with that.

    Tortorella is a jerk, but he’ll probably be good for Vancouver. The last thing you want him to have to deal with is the Luongo hang-over.

  20. lordfletcher - Jun 28, 2013 at 8:59 AM

    when do the Lou buy out talks start?

  21. jpat2424 - Jun 28, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    How many times do we have to keep hearing about this. Screw it I’m getting ready to watch the parade. Hawks Baby!!!!

    • kingcobraman - Jun 28, 2013 at 12:55 PM

      yes you watch the parade with Bolland …

  22. wills19 - Jun 28, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    I don’t want to see another Luongo article until he is actually traded

  23. blackhawks2010 - Jun 28, 2013 at 9:35 PM

    The Loungo trainwreck never stops….

  24. imleftcoast - Jun 28, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    It’s horrible, it’s terrible, I don’t want to read another post about it, I can’t stop commenting on it. You are all aware that the number of comments is used as a gauge of interest in the post, right?

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