At this point, it’s looking very much like Roberto Luongo will not be donning a Vancouver Canucks sweater next season. With a breakout performance in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs from Cory Schneider, it looks like the Canucks would rather commit to him with a new contract, rather than continue to rely on Luongo during the postseason.
That fact has opened up a very large can of speculation as to where Luongo could be playing his home games next season. There are plenty of obvious destinations. The Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning are two teams in incredible need of goaltending, or he could return to the Florida Panthers, the club that sent Lu to the Canucks.
According to reports, Luongo will submit his “wish list” of teams he’d like to be traded to next week, and we could see Luongo traded in the very near future, assuming there’s a general manager out there willing to take on a contract near $7 million for six more years for a 33-year-old goaltender.
Apparently, the Chicago Blackhawks are going to be on that list though. This is a highly interesting development, but does it actually mean anything?
I’ve been in Crawford’s corner for much of the season, and thought that he really regained his confidence back down the stretch, and even in the playoffs, save those goals he allowed in Games 3 & 4.
But that’s not really the point here. The point is that it’s Roberto Luongo. This guy has taken a mental beating the past couple of seasons, with the Blackhawks serving as the main culprit. His struggles at the United Center are already well-documented. Could you imagine him having to hear “Chelsea Dagger” on a nightly basis?
The Blackhawks may very well be on Lu’s wish list. They’re a team that could seek out some goaltending help, and they would come without the massive media frenzy of a team like Toronto. Of course, if Lu wants to go without the frenzy, he could just take his talents back to South Beach.
Whether or not the Blackhawks are actually on his list, I highly doubt anything comes of that. The Blackhawks are likely to roll with Crawford and Ray Emery as their goaltending tandem next year. And even if that wasn’t the case, Roberto Luongo is one of the last people in the entire NHL that I’d expect to be sporting a sweater with four feathers on it next season.
As hilarious/awkward as it might have been to see, it’s just not going to happen. If he’s going anywhere, it’s very likely that it will be a club in Florida that he heads to.