Following yet another playoff disappointment, the Vancouver Canucks are set for a major shakeup, perhaps both behind the bench and on the ice. It’s hard to imagine that there are too many safe players heading into the summer, but we already know who the first casualty is going to be.
After a year of trade rumors, it finally looks as if Roberto Luongo is going to get trade within the next couple of months. Once the offseason gets underway, he’ll once again be the hottest name out on the circuit, just as he was last offseason and prior to the trade deadline.
Luongo was out as the starting goaltender prior to the season, in favor of Cory Schneider, who supplanted in him in the 2011-2012 playoffs. Lu managed to play well, even supposedly taking the starting job away from Schneider there for a bit, before eventually handing him the job again during the postseason.
Which means that Schneider is the guy for the future, officially. And Luongo will be looking for a new home this summer. Whether that new home will be in Canada, or South Beach, or even a major eastern city like Philadelphia, remains to be seen. But there is one tactic that Mike Gillis should take in regard to trading Luongo.
Trade him early. Get it done. Luongo business is going to be a major distraction throughout the entire offseason. Even when the rumors weren’t swirling, there was always that dark cloud hanging over the entire situation. Getting him unloaded early eliminates potential distraction and allows Gillis to focus on improving the rest of his roster.
Not only that, but teams know how much Gillis is asking for Luongo. They could go out and look for other options, leaving Gillis with taking much less than he wants, which he’s probably already going to have to do anyway. But if he waits long enough, he’s either going to have to take a significant amount less, or settle for another year of distraction.
Make no mistake about it. Roberto Luongo is going to be traded this summer. It’s just a matter of when and where. Even if it’s not for the overpayment that Gillis is already rumored to be asking for, he needs to try and unload Luongo as early as possible.