The National Hockey League trade deadline came and went this Wednesday evening, and Goaltender Roberto Luongo will remain the number two goalie for the Vancouver Canucks. With many rumors of a Luongo trade lingering all year, it was almost shocking when the deadline passed and Luongo held a press conference to talk about NOT being traded.
The Canucks made the transition to Cory Schneider as the number one goaltender during the Stanley Cup playoffs last season. Luongo, who brought so much promise to a city that has yearned for that elusive first Cup title, never quite measured up to the people of Vancouver’s expectations. When Vancouver finally made it back to the Stanley Cup finals in 2011, despite posting two 1-0 shutouts, Luongo was wildly inconsistent and allowed four goals in the decisive game 7 loss to the Boston Bruins.
Luongo, who admittedly loves playing in Vancouver, also loves playing full time as a number one net minder; a title he lost late last season. Despite his love for the team and fans in Vancouver, Roberto Luongo has wanted to move on for quite some time now.
However, a twelve year contract worth $64 million with nine years left on it is an obstacle to overcome. It is not a matter of talent with Luongo as his 7-4-3 record alongside his 2.44 goals against average shows he is still capable of being an adequate number one goalie. The problem is, there are very few general managers in the NHL who would give up picks or draft prospects, for a 34 year old goalie who is owed approximately $5.33 million a year over the next nine years.
In a league with a shrinking salary cap and spending at a minimum for most teams, Roberto may be waiting even “Luonger” than expected for that trade he desires.