Canucks News: The Roberto Luongo Controversy

KP Wee@kpwee1Senior Writer IFebruary 19, 2008

This morning, a couple of talk show hosts from  Vancouver sports radio station, Team 1040, were commenting on the Roberto Luongo pad issue.

For those of you who haven't heard, the Dallas Stars allegedly complained to the NHL before the start of last year's playoffs that the Canucks goalie's knee flaps—which stuck out of his pads—gave him an unfair advantage.

Those flaps were supposedly helping Luongo make more saves.

Then in December, Stars goalies Marty Turco and Mike Smith jokingly put on home-made mock flaps during a morning skate to perhaps seemingly further insinuate that Luongo's pads had been illegal.

In reality, the knee flaps worn by Luongo supposedly are for protective purposes and nothing more, and some other goalies in the league use them too, most notably Stanley Cup champion Jean-Sebastien Giguere of the Anaheim Ducks.

A couple months ago, when the complaints by the Stars surfaced, the NHL had allowed Luongo to continue using the pads after checking the equipment. And that was also okayed during the Stars-Canucks first-round playoff series last spring too.

The reason that this is now an issue is that the league has apparently reversed its ruling, and has asked Luongo to remove the flaps.

And get this: apparently other goalies in the league will still be allowed to wear theirs.

Double standards? In professional sports? Welcome to the NHL.

Apparently an unofficial statement issued by Kay Whitmore—a former Canuck goalie who is now part of the league's "goalie police" department dealing with equipment issues—to The Province, a newspaper in Vancouver, was that the controversial ruling was handed down was due to the way Luongo was wearing his pads.

According to comments made by the morning show hosts in Vancouver, this is supposedly a good thing.
They believe this ruling will motivate Luongo to take his game to the next level.

They hope he will play with a chip on his shoulder, and prove to the rest of the league that he can be one of the world's best goalies in spite of this gamesmanship displayed by the Stars.

Hello? Make Luongo mad and he'll shut the door on the rest of the league?

What do these media guys know anyway?

Has Luongo proven to be in the same class as a guy like Patrick Roy, who you can certainly suggest played well when challenged in that manner?

Roy was a multiple Stanley Cup winner.

What has Luongo won?

One playoff round in his NHL career, that's what.

For these talk show hosts to even remotely suggest that Luongo may now step up and take charge because of this controversy is laughable.

Now, the hosts didn't mention Roy's name, but if you try and read between the lines, they are saying that Luongo is suddenly going to have this unbeatable aura because of this controversy and have a "us-against-the-world" mentality.

Very few athletes have been able to take it to that kind of level. Certainly none in Vancouver's non-storied history.

But perhaps now the media guys are going to say that Vancouver should plan a parade for this team come June, too.

Better start printing those Stanley Cup tickets and plan a route for the championship celebrations!

And oh, by the way, guess what? Peter Forsberg isn't going to Vancouver either.

I guess the Vancouver media will suggest that the Canucks will land Mats Sundin or some other big name before the trading deadline too!

Is there anyone else out there who has a take on this goalie equipment/Luongo controversy? Discuss.


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