Roberto Luongo is a star on the ice and in the Twitterverse.
I included this information about Roberto Luongo and the account @strombone1. At the time, it wasn't certain that the account was actually maintained by Luongo, but evidence was mounting. Way back in February 2012, Harrison Mooney of the Vancouver Sun's Pass It to Bulis sports blog pointed out that Strombone was the same handle that Luongo had been using for online poker for the past five years.
During a February 2013 appearance on Hockey Night in Canada's After Hours, Luongo stopped being coy and talked about the account in the first person. Once again, Harrison Mooney has all the details, including video of the After Hours appearance.
This makes it certain: The account is his, and it's hilarious.
Luongo hasn't slowed down with the tweets since getting back to work. He has engaged in crazy discussions with everyone from baseball's Jose Canseco to Wrestling's Iron Sheik to the GM who traded him to Vancouver, Mike Keenan.
Here are 11 of the best hockey-related tweets from @strombone1 since the NHL lockout ended in January.
Roberto Luongo joined the Canucks in 2006. Where will he play next?
The profile picture for @strombone1 says it all. It shows a goaltender in silhouette, with a question mark on his chest instead of a logo.
After the 2012 playoffs, it was assumed that Cory Schneider would be Vancouver's No. 1 goaltender going forward and that Luongo was on his way out of town. During the lockout, local scribes were convinced that Luongo would be traded to Toronto. In January, Jason Botchford of The Province posited that Brian Burke's firing would remove the final obstacle to completing the deal.
Here's what Luongo had to say when a deal was reached to end the lockout:
So wtf do we do now @notbobbylu ???—Strombone (@strombone1) January 6, 2013
For the record, @NotBobbyLu is a fake account, but Luongo interacts with it regularly. Or as he puts it:
Poker aficionado Luongo further stirred the pot on Jan. 13, as trade rumours swirled:
Guys I've just been dealt...........POCKET ACES! #latenightpoker—Strombone (@strombone1) January 13, 2013
If or when a trade does come down, keep an eye on @strombone1 for the ultimate last word.
Luongo can find the humor when it comes to his cumbersome contract.
Much has been made about Luongo's 12-year, $64 million, front-loaded contract. The netminder's long-term $5.33 million annual cap hit is believed to be the biggest impediment to a possible trade.
Regardless, @strombone1 is not afraid to poke fun at the situation.
On Jan. 8, word came out that, under the new collective bargaining agreement, teams signing players to front-loaded contracts would remain responsible for the full cap hit of a contract if the player retired before the contract was complete—even if the player was traded.
Here's what @strombone1 had to say:
—Strombone (@strombone1) January 8, 2013
More recently, on Mar. 2, Hockey Night in Canada's After Hours host Scott Oake tweeted:
Aft Hrs from Vancouver tonight features Capt. Henrik Sedin and GM Mike Gillis. If I ask your question you could win a new Buick!!— Scott Oake (@ScottOake) March 2, 2013
@scottoake can you ask Mr. Gillis if there's any chance I get an extension?
—Strombone (@strombone1) March 2, 2013
Despite everything that has been written and said, Luongo is proving to be unflappable and showing tremendous grace under pressure.
Schneider and Luongo. Together forever?
On the eve of the new season, the Canucks' goaltending controversy was reaching a fever pitch. @strombone1 retweeted from @nhl to tweak the sensibilities of all involved:
By Feb. 2, Luongo had played in five of the Canucks' eight games to that point. He'd started four with a record of 2-0-2 and just seven goals against. His tweet?
Being a backup is a lot funner than I anticipated.........—Strombone (@strombone1) February 2, 2013
On Feb. 13, he shared this photo and outstanding caption:
This guy might need a longer jersey by the time it's all said and done........ twitter.com/strombone1/sta…
—Strombone (@strombone1) February 13, 2013
Luongo and Schneider have enjoyed a good relationship through their time in Vancouver. As the 2012-13 season reaches its halfway point, it seems like little has changed.
Almost had it.....
A goaltender who was once seen to have a chip on his shoulder and to have a hard time handling criticism, Luongo is now fearless about acknowledging his shortcomings in net.
This accountability seems to have made the public less likely to pile on the criticism, allowing Luongo more breathing room to regroup and fight another day.
Here are three recent examples:
- After going the distance in the Canucks' 8-3 drubbing in Detroit on Feb. 24, @strombone1 tweeted:
I just wanted to apologize to all the people who had to replace their Budweiser Red Light bulb after yesterday's debacle#LUON8O—Strombone (@strombone1) February 25, 2013
- After Luongo was thoroughly outplayed by the Blues' T.J. Oshie in the shootout of the Feb. 17 game, @strombone1 tweeted:
Almost had him............ twitter.com/strombone1/sta…—Strombone (@strombone1) February 18, 2013
- Even during the NFL playoffs, Luongo was poking fun at himself and his situation:
Kaepernick looking fantastic proving you could never go wrong in going with the youngster over the old vet..........—Strombone (@strombone1) January 13, 2013
The Canucks now have less than a month to make a deal if they hope to move one of their goaltenders before the Apr. 3 trade deadline. They could carry both goalies through the playoffs, but the hammer will fall next summer when the salary cap drops to $64.3 million.
Whatever happens in the crease in Vancouver, you can be sure that @strombone1 will have something witty to say about it.
Thanks for reading. I can keep you up to date on all things Canucks and NHL over at my own Twitter: