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Columnist to Luongo: Quit being such a diva

Aug 28, 2013, 10:30 AM EDT

Roberto Luongo, AP

Now that Roberto Luongo is ready to settle back into his starting job in Vancouver, you’d think fans and media alike would be ready to rally around him.

You’d be sorely incorrect.

After spending the past two years in limbo and wanting a trade out of town, he watched Cory Schneider wind up being the guy sent packing and columnist Tony Gallagher of The Province wants Luongo to quit being so dramatic about the entire situation.

Gallagher lays into Luongo for being a diva about the whole mess and says it’s time to put it in the past in his own special way.

There are those who would argue that Luongo is the totally blameless, aggrieved party in this whole sorry mess. And reading into his long period of silence, maybe Luongo was buying into that type of thinking as well, and in his heart of hearts, perhaps he still is.

But enough. Cut the melodrama already.

Yes, he mentally had checked out at the end of the season, and was expecting a trade, and that didn’t happen, and we understand that.

Fair enough, it was tough and very unusual. But couldn’t he have rolled with the punches a little better? Couldn’t he imagine he’d been traded — to Vancouver? After all, with Alain the goaltender roaster gone, there will be a whole new direction to this team, and some new, young faces.

Cutting the melodrama is a good idea, isn’t it? Ahem…

So let’s see: Luongo plays at an elite level, one that isn’t good enough to some in Vancouver despite taking the Canucks to within one win of the Stanley Cup, loses his job to Schneider and sees the writing on the wall that he’s eventually the odd-man out and wants to get out of town and he’s the problem here?

Tough to agree with any of that.

Related: Luongo finally speaks — and reveals he tried to void his contract

  1. hockey412 - Aug 28, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    Gallagher sounds like a real boob.

    • hockeyflow33 - Aug 28, 2013 at 10:38 AM

      I disagree with you, as far as I’m concerned boobs are the greatest thing on earth.

      • packerswin96 - Aug 28, 2013 at 10:44 AM

        If you think boobs are the greatest thing on earth then you obviously have only made it to “2nd base”, just wait until you discover the rest of the female form.

      • hockeyflow33 - Aug 28, 2013 at 10:46 AM

        I’m sorry for making a joke. Yes, we all know the vagina is great. The word boob was used and I went for the joke, thanks for letting everyone know you have had sex before.

      • hockey412 - Aug 28, 2013 at 11:02 AM

        I stand corrected – point taken, hockeyflow


      • wiersmak2013 - Aug 28, 2013 at 4:43 PM

        Thanks for the good laugh!

    • blomfeld - Aug 28, 2013 at 4:58 PM




      Who can forget Dave Nonis’ face when his prized, centrepiece netminder failed to return from the dressing room for overtime in a playoff elimination game? Because of a trip to the john, Luongo missed 3:34 and needed Dany Sabourin to make five huge stops against the Anaheim Ducks in 2007 to save a lifetime of embarrassment. Luongo didn’t want to talk much about it afterward. And, really, what’s to say? When you gotta go, you gotta go.


      It was not long after the bathroom break in that same playoff game in the spring of 2007, when Luongo watched Rob Niedermayer destroy Jannik Hansen with a monster hit. Luongo lost focus, turned to the ref, trying to get him to call a penalty, when Scott Niedermayer drifted the 60-foot game-winner by him. Not only was it game over, it was an end to the Canucks’ postseason. It was still the honeymoon phase of Luongo’s Vancouver career, so he wasn’t ripped to shreds for his loss of focus. Can you imagine what the reaction would be now if that happened this year?


      It’s no secret Luongo loves to play, and play a lot. It’s left him exposed to plenty of criticism that he plays too much. Many have long argued that the Canucks let him call the shots, and he’s the one who essentially chooses which games he plays. Strange, we could have sworn it was Alain Vigneault writing his name on the lineup card.


      Give Luongo credit for trying to be smoother and looser with the media this season. He’s got more jokes and better timing, too. That wasn’t the case after losing 5-1 in a heartless performance that eliminated the Canucks from the playoffs for the second year in a row. Luongo’s post-game response was ill-timed: “I battled for 60 minutes. I kept it under seven goals.” Really, it was not the time for sarcasm.


      Real hockey fans don’t care about the All-Star Game, so why should players? Luongo cared so little for the pillow fight on skates that he skipped it in 2008 to spend time with his pregnant wife. Family over a meaningless hockey game — we get it. OK, maybe not all of us. Luongo was whipped by some media, mostly outside Vancouver. Some even suggested the decision could cost him Vezina votes.

      What? There are five more? Indeed there are. Turn to Page D20, where Jason Botchford presents the Top 5 Roberto Luongo controversies. And check out for the full scary roundup, complete with photos and video!

      On Page D5, Jason Botchford presented five Roberto Luongo controversies, stemming from the most recent: Luongo’s refusal to emerge from the tunnel to acknowledge being named the first star of the game on Jan. 5. Here are the big five:


      The Canucks weren’t singing “Kumbaya” in 2009, it just seemed that way. Everyone was getting in on it, telling media they all wanted to be a big part of the Canucks’ future. Ryan Kesler said players needed to take less. Alex Burrows did.

      But when Luongo had his chance for a “We are all Canucks” moment on Hockey Night in Canada, when asked about his future, he said: “I think first and foremost, I want to win the Cup and whichever team is going to give me the best chance to do that is the team I want to be with.” About half the fan base didn’t like the sounds of that.


      Luongo still isn’t over this one. When he and the Canucks collapsed down the stretch in 2008 it was suggested, and suggested, and suggested, one of the reasons was Gina Luongo’s “delicate” pregnancy. As if his family situation was the reason a save wasn’t made or a game was lost. “I learned from that, I learned to keep things personal,” Luongo said earlier this month. Good thinking.


      Luongo has always had to balance speaking for the team, and explaining breakdowns, without coming across as blaming his defencemen. Most of the time, he’s done a better job than most. Despite that fact, to some, Luongo will always be seen as a sore loser who points fingers.

      For an example, they point to a March 2008 loss to the Avalanche. Luongo stirred up a firestorm with this: “We had about six chances to get it out and either we shot it off our own guys or we didn’t get it out. The next thing you know, there’s a shot from the point and Sakic is all alone at the side. I was able to get the first save, but he chipped the second one over me. It’s unacceptable, inexcusable; that should never happen in an important game like that. So we just pissed away two points tonight.”


      No issue has spilled more ink or filled up more dead air. The move may have been accepted in Vancouver, at first, but it was blasted by hockey’s old-school network, most notably by Don Cherry. Luongo made it through the first year as captain without much heat but when the Canucks lost to Chicago for a second postseason in a row, media and fans demanded he surrender the letter. The issue was exacerbated during the summer of 2010 as Luongo waited until training camp before he finally relinquished the title.


      We still don’t know if Luongo was serious in 2007. We’re pretty sure he was. Luongo vowed he’d retire from hockey if the NHL went ahead with plans to make the nets bigger. Say what? Yeah, retire (we asked him several times to avoid any confusion). We decided to take him seriously and it seems the NHL did too. We haven’t heard a word about the idea since.

  2. hockeyflow33 - Aug 28, 2013 at 10:37 AM

    The guys has been nothing but class the entire time, this is ridiculous.

    The media is so disgusting. If a player gives a truthful answer they rip him, if he gives a stock answer, they rip him.

    I’d like to see media outlets institute a requirement that you have previously played the sport at a decent level before the paper/tv/radio allows you to represent them.

    • blomfeld - Aug 28, 2013 at 6:01 PM

      ATTA BOY HOCKEY F !! … YOU ‘TELL ‘EM’ MAN !!! :)

  3. supercoop8 - Aug 28, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    How many people assumed it was Gallagher as soon you read the title. The guy is a hack that stirs the pot to seem relevant, inflate his ego. At least he was labeled a columnist and not a journalist.

  4. isithockeyseasonyet - Aug 28, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    Without having a ‘bad’ season by most franchise standards, the Canucks have become the joke of the NHL pretty incrementally, it’s pretty funny

  5. 950003cups - Aug 28, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    I think what really got Luongo discombobulated was that he probably spent four months and had a 3 page speech and his favorite tux prepared for his “Post-Trade Press Conference”. Then he found out he couldn’t get his deposit back from the catering hall for his “FU Vancouver” party that he had all set up to go off.

    So, yeah, he’s a bit upset

  6. sjsharks66 - Aug 28, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    What a weenie.

  7. isthereanyusernamesleft - Aug 28, 2013 at 11:31 AM

    Legs put it in the past…..we all want the same thing….a cup

  8. 19to77 - Aug 28, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    Gallagher’s a petulant asshat who mouths off about hockey players because he’s jealous he’ll never be one.

    Besides, as everyone but Gallagher and Mike Gillis will readily admit, the drama in Vancouver has been ridiculous for the last few years. I imagine Luongo’s far from the only unimpressed Canuck. The rest of them have been seeing this thing unfold in person and most of them probably have thoughts along the lines of “Man, what if they start jerking me around like that?”

  9. pastabelly - Aug 28, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    Gallagher should be pumping Luongo’s tires.

    • rodeoclowndc - Aug 29, 2013 at 2:47 PM

      Is that what the kids are calling it these days?

  10. earpaniac - Aug 28, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    As a Blackhawks fan, it’s not like I’m a Canuck booster. So when I say that Lou has handled this better than almost any other pro athlete would, it’s not like I’m looking through rose colored glasses. I don’t mind columnists who are critical. But this guy seems like one who just is being a jag for the sake of being a jag.

  11. malvaren18 - Aug 28, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    Stop complaining and get to work, you are getting pay a lot of money, how can anybody feel Bad for Luongo.

    • hockeyflow33 - Aug 28, 2013 at 9:17 PM

      Umm because regardless of the money he seems to be a genuinely nice person who was treated very poorly.

      I didn’t think empathy was a tough concept to grasp.

  12. blomfeld - Aug 28, 2013 at 3:05 PM

    A ‘DIVA’ EH ? …

    Well then, let’s get down to brass tacks. The bottom line is that Robero Luongo makes Lindsay Lohan look like Walter Cronkite. And as laughable as that may be, what’s truly ‘pathetic’ are the many sheep who still idolize this petulant, self-centered, inconsiderate ‘yea me’ 13 year old little girl trapped in a man’s body. Even now the idiot can’t give a straight answer to his adoring flock by simply stating that ‘he will’ report to training camp as opposed to saying I ‘intend’ to report to training camp. Right now on the radio here in Vancouver, TEAM 1040 is conducting a poll asking the local faithful if they believe Roberto Luongo to be a diva ? … and as of 20 minutes ago, over 40% of Canuck Nation have answered ‘yes’ to the question ! Can you imagine how high that figure would be if the question was posed to hockey fans at large? … I suspect somewhere north of 90% …

    Anyway, as I said earlier, when Luongo does finally pull the rug from under the feet of you Canuckle heads and ‘bolts’ back to Florida, you people are going to look more stupid than some Dairy Queen sales rep trying to peddle his goods in Antarctica !

    • blomfeld - Aug 28, 2013 at 3:52 PM

      “I had moved on from Vancouver and was ready to start fresh somewhere else…like a divorce…except she wanted me back” … Roberto Luongo

    • imnotyourbuddyguy - Aug 29, 2013 at 2:02 AM

      Nobody reads your crap

  13. superman4u2nv - Aug 28, 2013 at 3:23 PM

    If I was him I would demand a trade screw the van fans guy gets ripped up every year they don’t win the cup then gets put on the block then he’s number one agen all cuz the tool gm was to greedy n wanted more for him now he’s stuck on a crap team were the fans will hate n blame him for the cup they will never win

    • hockeyflow33 - Aug 28, 2013 at 9:18 PM

      Yay spelling!

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