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Luongo to Tortorella: ‘I just want to play’

Aug 22, 2013, 10:15 AM EDT

Roberto Luongo AP

It’s never dull in Vancouver when it comes to Roberto Luongo‘s status with the team. He’s been very quiet most of the summer, save for the occasional tweet here and there, but one guy who’s kept up with him is his new coach, John Tortorella.

Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun spoke with Tortorella (it’s a great interview, by the way) and finds out the coach is very much working on his relationship with Luongo.

“He knows there is a lot of talk and probably a lot of questions coming his way with how it all unfolded here,” Tortorella said. “I think he’s prepared for that and the bottom line is he told me “I just want to play.” I think that is the most important thing, if there is some conflict or you are unhappy about certain things, the bottom line is and he understands it, is that he is playing for his teammates. Those are the most important people.”

Rumors about Luongo not being happy coming back to Vancouver after the Canucks dealt Cory Schneider this summer instead of him have persisted. His seeming aloofness has kept the rumor mill going.

If Luongo is unhappy about things, stressing how the team needs him is a good way to appeal to him. After all, it’s not like he’s getting traded now. If it didn’t happen in the last two years, it’s not about to now.

Related: Canucks assistant GM can’t say if Luongo will be happy at training camp

  1. 950003cups - Aug 22, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    He’s gonna have a kick ass season. Tortorella’s philosophy of “everyone pitches in on defense” (which quickly replaced his stupid “safe is death” thing in 2009) will greatly help Luongo. Lundqvist owes a big thanks to Tortorella for that. The 2012 playoffs would be a one and done if everyone wasn’t shot blocking.

    • hockey412 - Aug 22, 2013 at 11:12 AM

      Loungo will love it, yes. The rest of the team will like it about as much as the NYR did. The rest of the team will like HIM about as much as the NYR did.

      Though they are on opposite ends of the spectrum, if EITHER Mother Teresa or Sean Avery thinks that you’re an a-hole (or I believe it was as*-clown in this case), then chances are, you’re an a-hole.

      I believe this will be Torts’ last hurrah, and it won’t last long.

  2. lowenni - Aug 22, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    You know what, say what you will about Luongo’s consistency and ability, but I can’t help but admire the man for his ability to handle everything that’s been happening to him. He’s avoided making a big deal out of it and he hasn’t cried to the media about not getting traded. He handled it in a first class manner and is going to continue to show up for his teammates and his fans. Great guy.

    • endusersolutions2013 - Aug 22, 2013 at 12:48 PM

      And at the end of the day, he’s pretty well paid as well;)

  3. joey4id - Aug 22, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    He, Luongo, a d the events that led to the mess in Vancouver could become another source of distraction for the team. Luong’s needs to address the press ASAP during camp, and then WIN. Nothing will silence detractors faster than Ws.

  4. blomfeld - Aug 23, 2013 at 12:36 AM



  5. larry1957 - Aug 23, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    8-9 years left on a contract that maybe looking on it in retrospect it sucks as Luongo said it in the interview. Well Luongo YOU signed it! Deal with it.Want to try to void the contract by getting hurt in training camp? You’ll be swimming with the King Crabs…

  6. amityvillefun - Aug 26, 2013 at 12:02 AM

    Deep down all he’s ever wanted was for Tim Thomas to pump his tires.

    I guess no one ever told him that Thomas doesn’t run a gas station. I wonder if the fantasy keeps him up at night?

    The Cup loss probably does! Had he kept his own confidence, he and the rest of Vancouver would have been much happier. But when the chips were down, he choked.

    And it will haunt the rest of his career.

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