A little while back, I wrote an article stating Luongo officially wants out of Vancouver based on a tweet by NHL insider Nick Kypreos. Although Kypreos was right, I also stand corrected in that sometimes, even in today’s NHL filled with secrets and backroom dealings, things still go completely public every once in a while. According to Alain Vigneault, Luongo officially wants out of Vancouver. Here is the interview with Coach V courtesy of TVA Sports:
Here is a link to the interview on TVA sports. For those of us who don’t speak or read french, you can still roughly make out what the 4th line has to say. Here is the quick english translation:
“This is what he wants now, and what we must do is (make the best decision) for our organization.”
Alright, what’s done is done. End of story. Now what? The Canucks are going to have to make a very serious push for Cory Schneider, who will have complete control at the bargaining table. Cory will not be recieving any less than $4 million and will be looking to add some security to that deal by making it a multi-year contract. On the bright side, he is the younger and shinier model and secures the Canucks having a fantastic #1 goaltender for years to come. The funny part is, as seen through the end of the playoffs, goaltending was never really the issue in Vancouver and neither Luongo or Schneider were a bad option; at the end of the day, going with the younger, cheaper goalie is the right hockey decision.
The Canucks have also lost a bit of leverage in trading Lu because teams now know that he doesn’t want to be in Vancouver so they can cut down a bit on what they offer. The Canucks will definitely have to receive some salary in return, but don’t be mistaken: Roberto Luongo is a world class goaltender and Gillis will not let him go lightly. Now that Luongo is already on the chopping block, there will be plenty of time for teams to start a bidding war and hopefully force his price through the roof. Luongo will be the biggest acquisition made for a team this post-season and can turn a team that didn’t make the playoffs last year into a Stanley Cup contender.
It feels weird to think that we might never see Luongo suit up for the Vancouver Canucks again, or worse yet play against him next season. Luongo will stand tall as one of the best goaltenders the Canucks organization have ever seen lace up for them, not to mention he has set the bar high for Cory Schneider. Now let’s see how Schneids does over the course of a full regular season. October can’t get here fast enough.