Roberto Luongo, you've made your bed. Now be prepared to sleep in it.
The Vancouver Canucks goaltender had been the subject of trade rumors even before the year started. It seemed a foregone conclusion he would have a new home before the April 3 deadline expired.
Instead, Luongo is staying in Vancouver. And the four-time All-Star has his reasoning for why no team traded for him (h/t Craig Custance of ESPN.com): "My contract sucks -- that's what's the problem," Luongo said. "I'd scrap it if I could now."
On one hand, you do have to feel sorry for Luongo. He's seen his playing time go to Cory Schneider and Luongo clearly has enough to start for other teams in the league. Sitting the bench is not going to be a pleasant experience.
On the other hand, perhaps he should have had a little more foresight before he signed a 12-year, $64 million deal prior to the 2010-11 season. It's all good if he has a productive time in Vancouver and he's happy. As evidenced by the present circumstances, though, that contract would be a white elephant if it hit the fan.
Teams aren't going to want to give up much for Luongo given his financial situation. From now until the 2021-22 season, Luongo will have a $5.3 million cap hit (h/t CapGeek.com).
The Canucks are of course equally at fault for having offered Luongo the deal. At the end of the day, though, it was up to the goaltender to accept it.
He could have accepted a shorter deal that would give him more flexibility in the future. Instead, he went down the long-term route.
Luongo and his agent made sure to get a ton of guaranteed cash. You can't fault them for that. It's the agent's job to get the best deal for his client, and $64 million is a lot of money. However, the two should have thought a little harder about the future ramifications of signing such a lengthy deal.
From a fan's perspective, it's hard to feel much sympathy for a player who is going to receive nine figures to ride the bench. There are plenty of people who would gladly switch occupations with Luongo.
This isn't anything against Luongo personally. He's a very nice, funny person. But this is a disaster he helped to create. No one forced him to sign the contract he's lamenting now. Granted, circumstances have changed, but that's the risk you take when you sign a 12-year deal.
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