Don’t expect Roberto Luongo to become a Blackhawk
By now you’ve probably have heard all of the discussions about Roberto Luongo potentially being traded to the Chicago Blackhawks. Although it has been proved that no contract is untradeable, there is no way I can see this deal happening between the Hawks and Vancouver Canucks.
It doesn’t matter that Luongo says that he likes Chicago and would like playing here, he doesn’t make the decisions, the GMs do. I would have to imagine that Stan Bowman is not willing to part with anything significant to get Luongo and his monstrous contract. He would think he’s doing a favor to Mike Gillis just for taking on Bobby Lu’s $5,333,333 cap hit that expires in 2022. On the same token, as bad as Gillis wants to be rid of the cap commitment, he’s still selling an All-Star quality netminder. He can’t give him away for free can he? Especially not at the expense of making a conference rival stronger.
It’s obvious that Luongo would provide an upgrade in goal for the Blackhawks. He’s proven to be a stellar goalie in the regular season, but has had his fair share of hiccups in the playoffs. Although at this point Luongo is better than Corey Crawford, Lu is not a sure-fire answer to the Hawks’ deficiency between the pipes. Unless Vancouver is taking back Bowman mistakes, the risk would probably outweigh the reward.
Remember that Scotty Bowman is still influencing moves the Blackhawks make. Teams built under Scotty’s watch have been notorious for employing average to above average goaltenders who come relatively cheap. He’s proven that teams can win with goalies like Chris Osgood or Antti Niemi, as long as everything in front of the crease is assembled correctly.
Gillis will do all he can to get something of value out of either the Florida Panthers or Toronto Maple Leafs in order to allow Luongo and the Canucks to “move on.” If Vancouver is going to lose Luongo for next to nothing, it won’t be to Chicago.
The Blackhawks have plenty of other areas that they would like to address via trade or free agency. It appears they want to improve both up front and on defense, and they would need the money eaten up by a potential Luongo trade to make those upgrades. Even though it has not been talked about nearly as much, a trade with the Los Angeles Kings involving Jonathan Bernier is much more realistic for the Chicago Blackhawks.