Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks has been targeted as one of the league's most disliked and made fun of players. It doesn’t help that a lot of insulting nicknames can be created from his name. Such as: Roberto Reboundo, Loseongo, 7uongo and Luongoal.
TSN’s announced their latest Luongo joke: “What time is it in Vancouver? It’s 12 past Luongo.” Unfortunately for Luongo, there was no joke involving his two shutouts in the SCF. Despite his performance in the Olympics to obtain the gold medal for Canada, he is still thought of as an “underachiever” and a “choker.”
In Vancouver, a lot of fans blame him for the loss in the Stanley Cup Finals. According to Rock 101, a few days ago Luongo was eating lunch at a restaurant in Yaletown and a few Vancouver fans spotted him and began to boo and shout insulting remarks. Apparently he didn’t take it too well. Being a Vancouver fan myself, I do not blame Luongo for anything, and I hope he can stay in Vancouver.
There has been speculation about trading Luongo out of Vancouver, leaving the starting goaltending position to current backup Cory Schneider. Losing Luongo’s cap space would open up room to ensure the re-signing of defenseman Kevin Bieksa and Christian Ehrhoff. His backup would then become Eddie Lack, a promising goalie prospect. But is Schneider ready to be a full time backup? Or will his cramping such as in Game 6 against the Hawks, be a problem?
For example, last season the Washington Capitals only had $1.7 million left in cap space. High contracts such as Alex Semin’s $12.7 million cap hit (according to nhlnumbers.com, but it is probably a glitch and is more around 6 million), Alex Ovechkin’s $9.538 million hit, Nick Backstrom’s $6.7 million hit and Mike Green’s $5.25 million cap hit prevent the Capitals from being able to acquire a high-ranked goaltender such as Luongo.
Washington would have to get rid of one of those four contracts to make room for a goaltender. There has been a lot of “Semin for Luongo” talk, to put an end to this, Canucks simply don’t have the cap space for Semin, especially when comparing Semin’s cap hit to Luongo’s $5.333 million cap hit.
Next is the New York Islanders. To think of Luongo possibly going to Long Island seems completely ridiculous. Why would the Islanders want two outrageous goalie contracts? No team will want pick up Rick Dipietro, especially considering he has only played 39 games the past three seasons. Ouch.
The most likely of the three, in my opinion, is the Colorado Avalanche. After trading Craig Anderson to Ottawa for Brian Elliot (What were they thinking?), it is rumoured that Colorado is looking for a new goaltender. Elliot only captured two wins out of the 12 games he played in Colorado.
His contract is now expired, he remains a RFA. They have the cap space for Luongo, and the backup job could go to Elliot or Budjai, who is an UFA. The main question is who would Colorado be willing to give up to obtain Luongo? Matt Duchene is untouchable and it is likely that David Jones is as well. Thoughts?
If Luongo remains in Vancouver, I hope to hear more “Luooos” than “Boos.” When the Canucks are finally able to lift the Stanley Cup, I would love to be able to see Luongo there. Canucks' GM Mike Gillis is always saying that Luongo "is our guy," but for how much longer?
What time is it in Vancouver? It’s time to make some decisions.
**All contract numbers from on nhlnumbers.com