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Gillis confident Luongo will ‘remain a professional’

Jul 11, 2013, 5:33 PM EDT

Roberto Luongo AP

Now that Roberto Luongo has busted out of the World Series of Poker and things have quieted down on the free-agency front, it’s about time for Canucks general manager Mike Gillis to fly down to Florida and make nice with his only remaining starting goalie.

Gillis confirmed today on TEAM 1040 radio that he planned to visit Luongo “in the next little bit.” The two have only spoken on the phone since Cory Schneider was traded at the draft.

“Roberto and I have a very good relationship,” Gillis said. “We’ll be able to talk about all the issues. I’ll know more when I see him.”

When asked if there was any concern that Luongo is unhappy, Gillis tried to quell any talk of a holdout.

“I’m sure he’ll remain a professional and he’ll act in the best interests of his hockey team and himself,” he said.

Last week, Gillis told reporters that Luongo, 34, had two options heading into next season: play or don’t play.

Gillis also indicated he wants Luongo to know why the situation played out like it did, a comment that suggests the GM does indeed have a bit of a sales job to do.

“I will talk about the whole environment,” he said. “There has been so much stuff which has been misrepresented in what’s gone on here.

“I want to make sure he’s absolutely clear about us and our motivation and what was going on.

“It was a situation that got really complicated because of the lockout. I think people don’t understand the level of complexity that occurred because of the changes in the CBA with respect to these contracts.”

Related: Horvat ‘trying not to think about’ expectations in Vancouver

  1. bcsteele - Jul 11, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    Regardless of the changes in the CBA this whole deal was absolutely out of line. How come Gillis isn’t standing in the unemployment line yet?

    • nobandwagoners - Jul 11, 2013 at 7:58 PM

      Just supposition on my part but I don’t think how the whole Schneider & Luongo ultimately played out, i.e. with Schneider getting moved (and only for a measly 9th pick overall) was entirely Gillis’ doing. Yes, Gillis most likely pooched moving Luongo earlier (as contributed to Luongo likely holding out for his most preferred destination, as Luongo was contractually entitled to do) but let’s be honest – Gillis is not a stupid man. I cannot believe that Gillis was sitting on his hands and only decided on the eve of the draft that, “hey, let’s see what we can get for Schneider”.

      I think Acquilini had a hand in this and it was his directive that Schneider be traded after Gillis tried in vain to trade Luongo leading up to the draft and he told him that at the last moment. I think Gillis’ recommendation was that Luongo couldn’t be moved and the team would have to buy him out but Acquilini balked at that and effectively tied GIllis’ hand until Acquilini told him right before the draft to trade Schneider.

  2. 19to77 - Jul 11, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    Now if only Mike Gillis could learn to do the same. Protip – maybe tell your players you’re dealing them before letting them find out on television. Ass.

    • joey4id - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:28 AM

      Yeah! Especially on draft day when they are making deals in real time. He should have taken a time out to call Schneider. Hockey players are treated so terribly these days. Yes?

  3. polegojim - Jul 11, 2013 at 6:34 PM

    I hope Luongo holds out… for something… anything… just to leave Gillis flapping in the wind.


    • colby7 - Jul 11, 2013 at 6:50 PM

      Roberto Luongo holds out until everyone in GM Place is given a fitted hat.

      • vanindeed - Jul 11, 2013 at 7:08 PM

        hear! hear!

  4. pavelfitzgerald - Jul 11, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    Mike Gillis’s comment oozes with passive-aggressiveness. Hey Mike, Roberto (& Schneider) were professionals theoughout this thing, you’re the one who said Roberto would be traded. This isn’t a video game, these are real people.
    Also, Gillis only has himself to blame. H signed Roberto to this deal & his arm almost fell off from how much he was patting himself on the back. He gave Ballard that awful contract, overpaid for Garrison, traded for the overpaid Booth, doesn’t have enough to keep Raymond. He’s most likely gonna rush the kid they drafted up due to his (mis)management of the cap & he hired a coach who thinks the Sedins are going to penalty kill & block shots? How does this guy still have a job?

    • loinstache - Jul 11, 2013 at 8:09 PM

      OK regardless of whether the Gillis hate is deserved or not (it is) this post is trash and anyone who agrees with it doesn’t have a clue what’s going on.

      Overpaid for Garrison? You mean how he signed well below his market worth as a home town discount and is now battling Hamhuis as our best defensemen?

      How he traded 2 useless old wingers in Sammuelsson and Sturm for Booth, who does not deserve to be written off yet due to his unfortunate injury luck (not at all like Sturm or Samm, right)?

      Hired a defensive, Stanley Cup winning coach after the publicized desire to be more ‘gritty and defensive’?

      And LOL keep Raymond? Everyone in Vancouver can’t wait to seem him go.

      Sure Gillis f-ed up hard, but let’s please keep the utterly incorrect points out of the argument.

      • 19to77 - Jul 11, 2013 at 8:29 PM

        Booth is overpaid any way you slice it. In 68 games with Vancouver since the trade, he has 32 points. His cap hit is $4.25m and he’s not useable as a two-way player. His contract is only passable if you pretend the number at the front is a 3. Funny story – Mikael Samuelsson has 32 points over the same span of time and his cap hit is only $3m. If he’s “useless,” Booth is too.

        I’m actually with you on a few points – Garrison’s solid, if steep for a largely defensive defender, and Raymond’s not worth keeping. But Booth and Ballard were debacles only eclipsed by Gillis’ magnificently awful handling of his goaltending. The man had two first-string goalies and THIS is where we’re at now? One’s gone for less than his value and the other has been dead silent on whether he’ll even play for them again.

        Torts… at best, I can only hold my judgement. The man couldn’t get it done with a VERY good Rangers team. I’m more than a little skeptical of his ability to make the Canucks excel.

      • loinstache - Jul 11, 2013 at 9:14 PM

        Calling the Booth trade a debacle is ridiculously overreactionary. Gillis moved two aged assets to acquire a young 20-30 goal scoring power forward on an “ok” contract. It was a logical move, the ridiculous string of injuries that followed are completely beyond Gillis. Saying he can’t play two way is also simply wrong as he has fantastic possession numbers. Yes he’s been a bust so far but if he’s healthy this year $4.2m for a power forward doesn’t seem so bad based on the current market. Of course that’s a big if…

        Exactly what contracts are you using as a standard if you consider $4.5m steep for a top four (likely top minutes under torts) defensively responsible D who also puts up 16+ goals with an absolute cannon of a shot?

        Ballard was a debacle, no two ways about it. Gillis had time to shop him too right after he picked up Hamhuis.

        Torts was definitely a controversial hire but again, logical.

        I don’t want to defend Gillis. I want him gone. But it gets a but much when people dismiss Van as reactionary when the glint of controversy brings in droves of armchair geniuses from other teams.

    • 19to77 - Jul 11, 2013 at 8:13 PM

      This is why I hope for a Luongo holdout. It might seriously be the only thing sufficient to get Gillis fired for his awful mismanagement.

  5. redgreentape - Jul 11, 2013 at 7:43 PM

    I hope he tells Gillis, Yes i will follow my contract but, don”t ask me to do the extra things players do. Meda, Radio, TV, ect.

    • dprouse - Jul 11, 2013 at 9:55 PM

      He can’t do that. In the standard players contract, they are mandated to do a certain number of personal appearances on behalf of the club. Besides, that’s not Lou’s style – I can’t see him being petty like that.

  6. hockeyflow33 - Jul 11, 2013 at 8:20 PM

    Maybe I’m wrong but I didn’t think Luongo was the one acting unprofessional

  7. slysipops - Jul 11, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    LOU is probibly wondering when GILLIS will start acting like a professional…… with the teams best interest in mind ! soooo does this put the idea of LOU starting an economy pizza business on hold ?

  8. barkar942 - Jul 11, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    Film at 11.

  9. blackhawks2010 - Jul 12, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    The Canuck trainwreck is an annual treat.

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