Chicago Blackhawks Are Wise to Stay Far Away from Roberto Luongo
To put it another way, the Blackhawks should never take Luongo and add him to their already 3-0-0 roster.
Never mind all the criticism on how the Blackhawks need to find more consistency in net, how Corey Crawford and Ray Emery are not the answer to make a deep playoff run. Forget the calls to find a bigger goaltender and one with more playoff experience and proven worth.
Any chatter that Luongo has interest in the 'Hawks or that the 'Hawks have interest in him should be ignored.
We have a potential deal in place with one team that has to do something with another player that they have—and it's not who anybody thinks it is—and so we have to wait. (But) we've been offered packages that don't fit what our plan is, what we need.
Just what would lead to speculation that the Blackhawks would want the services of a guy like Luongo?
It can't be the number of Stanley Cups he's won, which right now stands at zero. It might be his superb regular-season numbers that seem to fall apart once the postseason arrives. Maybe it's his flashy style, his ability to turn in big games on an inconsistent basis and his drive to actually win a championship.
Whatever it is, the Blackhawks don't need it that badly.
The small plus side that would come in acquiring Luongo also has a gigantic downside for the Blackhawks' organization.
Consider that some of the Blackhawks' core players despise Luongo and that the team his currently plays for is a hated rival. Or consider that the Canucks and Blackhawks will have a very hard time trading with one another—hated rivals tend to stay away from each other.
How about the fact that fans already hate Luongo? Bringing him to Chicago will only add extra pressure to an already confidence-wary Luongo—one bad loss from him and fans will revolt and demand a trade.
Neither situation would be ideal for the Blackhawks who are just looking for a little more consistency in net. Crawford can surely fill that role with a little more defensive support and some more training with his goalie coach.
Let's not forget the salary cap, which is expected to go down after this season according to the new CBA (via ESPN).
Luongo to Chicago would be a disaster for the Blackhawks' salary cap, which currently stands at $66.9 million. The Canucks goaltender has a $5.3 million cap hit for another 10 years—think about that for a second. The salary cap is expected to go down to $64 million next season, and that means the 'Hawks have no room for the guy.
Trading for the goaltender would jeopardize any future plans that GM Stan Bowman has for the Blackhawks.
It's time to take Chicago out of the Luongo conversation once and for all.
There is only one thing that is certain in all the trade speculation surrounding Luongo: The Chicago Blackhawks will not be a team vying for his services.
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