McKenzie: "Canucks have Basically Said They're Not Interested in buying (Luongo) out..."

Thomas Drance
June 28 2013 05:26PM


Is this the weekend we finally see Luongo and the Canucks part ways?
Image via wikimedia commons.

As this weekend's NHL draft approaches Roberto Luongo scuttlebutt is, like a year old frozen burrito in the microwave, beginning to heat up. The DiPietro for Luongo straight up rumours that punctuated Friday afternoon were good for a laugh and some empty calorie pageviews but not much else, and Mike Gillis said as close to nothing as could be imagined in a Friday Team 1040 interview.

Thankfully we've got the godfather of hockey Insiders, TSN's Bob McKenzie on the case. McKenzie can usually be counted on to provide us with the choices cuts of behind the scenes insight into precisely how a Luongo market is developing in New York this weekend, and on an Insider Trading segment which aired Friday on TSN he did just that.

Click past the jump for more.

The segment was kicked off by James Duthie asking the panel whether or not we should expect to see an imminent resolution to the ongoing Luongo saga. Bob McKenzie's response suggested that we should, but precisely how this ultimately plays out remains anyone's guess:

"I would certainly think so. I think no team including the Vancouver Canucks would put a finite deadline on when this has to be solved, but I believe it is the goal of the Vancouver Canucks to come out of this weekend with Roberto Luongo no longer on the roster.

Now they believe there are some trade options available for them, we can't find them. The New Islanders are apparently out, they're not interested. The Philadelphia Flyers, we believe Roberto Luongo's a little too rich for their blood. And yet we continue to hear that there are things in the works and things are percolating, and something may happen.

If not a trade then maybe it's waivers, and if it's not waivers the Canucks have basically said they're not interested in buying him out..."

A Luongo buyout is an expensive proposition (27 million), so on some level it's understandable that Vancouver Canucks ownership and management would be reluctant to go that route. But 27 million it's actually less expensive than the amount the Lightning will pay to get out from under Vincent Lecavalier's deal, and needless to say the Canucks are in much better financial shape than the NHL outpost in Tampa Bay...

Matt Sekeres put the buyout question to Mike Gillis in a Team 1040 radio interview on Friday afternoon, by the way, and Gillis's answer was essentially inscrutable: "We are in the process of talking to teams about Roberto, and I'm not going to say one way or the other (whether or not we'll buy him out)."

We'd pivotted off of a David Shoalts article earlier this week, and pointed out that the Bryzgalov buyout, by merely being something that happened, increased the percieved likelihood of an eventual Luongo buyout and further diminished the Canucks's rapidly atrophying leverage in this situation. So while I wouldn't be surprised if the Canucks were genuinely and totally set against the prospect of using a compliance buyout on Roberto Luongo's contract, I would also expect the organization to be telling people publicly and privately that a buyout is a non-starter ahead of this Sunday's draft...

One other thing I noticed is Florida's complete absence from McKenzie's spiel on "options available" to the Canucks on the Luongo trade front. With the Panthers' plethora of unsightly contracts on the books and their desperate need for goaltending on the ice, I still think South Beach is the most sensible Luongo trade partner for the Canucks (that is if a trade is even possible at this point, which I'd still suggest it is so long as Vancouver takes salary back).

Finally, Bob McKenzie suggested that one group to look out for in this process might be Craig MacTavish and the Edmonton Oilers:

"Keep an eye on the Edmonton Oilers, I'm not saying they're trying to trade for Roberto Luongo but I do know they've had interest in Luongo before. He has a no trade clause, but if he's on waivers, I've got to believe the Oilers are looking for a number one goaltender."

Also worth noting is that James Duthie, who is as close with Luongo as anybody in the media, quickly chimed in and questioned whether or not Luongo would even be willing to go to Edmonton. Of course, if the Oilers claim Luongo off of waivers as McKenzie is suggesting, it's not like the best goaltender in Canucks franchise history will have much choice in the matter anyway...

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Thomas Drance lives in Toronto, eats spicy food and writes about hockey. He is an NHL News Editor at theScore, the ex-managing editor of CanucksArmy.com and an opinionated blowhard to boot. You can follow him on twitter @thomasdrance.
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#1 van
June 28 2013, 05:34PM
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Would Luongo rather walk away from his contract (not report to training camp) than go to Edmonton?

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#2 If only
June 28 2013, 05:49PM
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Lesson to all players, don't have 1 team on your list of potential destinations. In the end, this is what hurt him - and the risk he took last summer. It was the most ideal time to trade him, and he said he would only go to 1 team. He knew the risks, and now he's paying for it. Yowsa, it's on him and his stupid agent.

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#3 Verne Gagne
June 28 2013, 06:00PM
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Lesson to all franchises: stop with the idiotic contracts. These agents/players/front office groups need someone to save them from themselves.

The contract is bad but the player is elite. It's a bit of a gamble. I think most GMs wouldn't want anything to do with Lu's current deal. I guess all it takes is one GM who will gamble and go for broke. Also, the contract could work out in the end if Lu plays into his late 30s like a Marty Brodeur!

Canucks are in a world of hurt. Near the cap limit. Lu's contract. Aging core. Many of the core with no trade clauses. Things don't look too bright for our boys in blue!

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#4 Verne Gagne
June 28 2013, 06:00PM
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Lesson to all franchises: stop with the idiotic contracts. These agents/players/front office groups need someone to save them from themselves.

The contract is bad but the player is elite. It's a bit of a gamble. I think most GMs wouldn't want anything to do with Lu's current deal. I guess all it takes is one GM who will gamble and go for broke. Also, the contract could work out in the end if Lu plays into his late 30s like a Marty Brodeur!

Canucks are in a world of hurt. Near the cap limit. Lu's contract. Aging core. Many of the core with no trade clauses. Things don't look too bright for our boys in blue!

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#5 loinstache
June 28 2013, 06:23PM
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Losing Luo with nothing in return should be the final strike for Gillis. I was willing to give him another year but having Ballard and Luo walk for not even later picks tells me that Gillis is not the man who should orchestrate the rebuilding of this team. Furthermore it just gives the haters more fire - an arrogant GM whose moves have been been irrefutably poor decisions in the past few years (minus getting Garrison).

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#6 Jeff Angus
June 28 2013, 06:29PM
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Don't discount the Flyers.

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#7 NM00
June 28 2013, 06:34PM
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@loinstache

If the Canucks actually end up buying out Luongo it should cost Gillis his job.

Misreading the market and costing the owner $27 million is a pretty big blunder. Coupled with his hockey blunders, hopefully Aquillini comes to his senses.

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#8 orcasfan
June 28 2013, 07:30PM
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If only wrote:

Lesson to all players, don't have 1 team on your list of potential destinations. In the end, this is what hurt him - and the risk he took last summer. It was the most ideal time to trade him, and he said he would only go to 1 team. He knew the risks, and now he's paying for it. Yowsa, it's on him and his stupid agent.

Agreed. Let's not hang all the blame for this fiasco onto Gillis. Lu and his agent really need to take on a major portion because of how they limited the trade possibilities last summer. If a trade (that returns something of value to the Canucks) can't be accomplished, I would prefer to see Lu waved. That way, if Florida does not pick him up, he will have to go to any other team, whether he likes it or not! But I still have hope that there is a trade to be made out there (including taking salary back) with the likes of Florida, TB, NJ, Philly, or even Buffalo.

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#9 NM00
June 28 2013, 07:49PM
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@orcasfan

Luongo exercised his contractual rights by refusing to go to a place like Columbus.

All indications are that he softened his stance on non-Florida destinations as the offseason went on.

So, yes, it is on Gillis. He gave Luongo the NTC. He decided to break the inherent promise of the contract by changing his mind on the goalie of the future 2 years into the contract.

There is zero defense for how Gillis has botched the goaltending situation.

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#10 Tom Lewis
June 28 2013, 08:23PM
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All good reasons to trade Schneider instead, Edmonton's pick would yield us a number one centre. Edler could yield us another top 10 pick. The combination Nathon McKinnin.

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#11 Scott
June 29 2013, 12:43AM
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I don't think any blame rests on Luongo's shoulders.

I still think trading #35 is the best route. He has an agreeable contract and is a younger goaltender

We'd see much better returns for Schneider than for Lu, and Schneider is not a proven #1 goaltender.

Gillis' reversal on our goalie future is what put our team into this predicament, and now we'll likely lose Luongo to another team for pennies on the dollar.

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#12 JCDavies
June 29 2013, 01:51AM
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@NM00

"Misreading the market and costing the owner $27 million is a pretty big blunder. "

We don't really know what part Luongo played in this and how much blame should be his. And in MG's defense, the new CBA significantly changed the market.

"All indications are that he softened his stance on non-Florida destinations as the offseason went on."

Sure, but were the trades still on the table? How many cities did he add to his list? We don't have the answers to these questions. Those moves by Luongo may have been too late to make a meaningful difference.

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#13 KleptoKlown
June 29 2013, 07:22AM
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FINALLY! Reason and logic...

It's getting interesting. 2 sources say Corey Schneider is in play. 1st and a prospect part of asking price. Suspect Oilers in on talks.

— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 29, 2013

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#14 van
June 29 2013, 08:28AM
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So Edmonton pick 7th, Flyers 11th and Islanders 15th. Presumably the Capitals and Panthers don't want a younger goaltender hindering the development of Markstrom and Holtby.

A 1st and Niederreiter? Would the Flyers beat that?

I like that we waited for Toronto to get their goalie before making this an option.

Can't believe Drance dropped the ball on this one. Guess it doesn't really matter...

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#15 Rob
June 29 2013, 09:10AM
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KleptoKlown wrote:

FINALLY! Reason and logic...

It's getting interesting. 2 sources say Corey Schneider is in play. 1st and a prospect part of asking price. Suspect Oilers in on talks.

— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 29, 2013

This kind of leak should have been expected, even if the Canucks have no intention of moving Schneider. Gillis needs to generate leverage any way he can, and the only way to do that is to remind people that there are other options to buying out Lu.

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#16 JCDavies
June 29 2013, 12:16PM
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@Rob

I agree. At this point, nothing that's out there can be taken at face value. Everybody's pushing an agenda.

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#17 NM00
June 29 2013, 01:50PM
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@JCDavies

Every indication is that Gillis should have traded Lou as soon as he opened up the list of teams to which he would agree to be traded.

The fact that Schneider may have to be traded should be the final straw. Gillis has handled this situation terribly.

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#18 JCDavies
June 29 2013, 02:32PM
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@NM00

Agreed, that this could have been handled better by management.

"Every indication is that Gillis should have traded Lou as soon as he opened up the list of teams to which he would agree to be traded."

What teams did he add to his list and when did he add them? What were those teams offering? We don't even know if there was a trade to made at that point.

We have never really known where exactly Luongo stands on this. Everybody is making assumptions about what he will or won't do but that's all they are: assumptions.

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#19 NM00
June 29 2013, 03:17PM
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@JCDavies

Yes there are assumptions being made. But isn't it fairly clear that Lou's trade value has plummeted in the last year?

There is no way management should be getting a pass for this blunder simply because we aren't privy to the trade offers that have been exchanged in the last season.

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#20 JCDavies
June 29 2013, 03:26PM
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@NM00

"But isn't it fairly clear that Lou's trade value has plummeted in the last year?"

From my previous post: "Agreed, that this could have been handled better by management."

"There is no way management should be getting a pass for this blunder simply because we aren't privy to the trade offers that have been exchanged in the last season."

Luongo shouldn't get a pass on this either.

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#21 NM00
June 29 2013, 03:52PM
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@JCDavies

"Luongo shouldn't get a pass on this either."

You realize that Gillis is the GM, right?

If we take the rumours to be true that Lou's first choice was/is Florida but that he opened up the teams to which he would accept a trade towards the end of the summer, for what should he be blamed?

Not accepting a trade to Columbus? He has a NTC and has earned the right to veto certain destinations.

Every indication is that there was a point in time that Lou was amenable to destinations outside of Florida and the Canucks could have received something such as Bozak and a draft pick.

How is it Luongo's fault that Gillis didn't pull the trigger at that point?

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#22 JCDavies
June 29 2013, 05:01PM
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@NM00

You are very certain about a lot of things you have no reason to be certain about (unless you have been participating in the negotiations).

From my previous post: "What teams did he add to his list and when did he add them? What were those teams offering? We don't even know if there was a trade to made at that point.

We have never really known where exactly Luongo stands on this. "

You don't have answers to any of these questions.

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#23 NM00
June 29 2013, 05:51PM
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JCDavies wrote:

You are very certain about a lot of things you have no reason to be certain about (unless you have been participating in the negotiations).

From my previous post: "What teams did he add to his list and when did he add them? What were those teams offering? We don't even know if there was a trade to made at that point.

We have never really known where exactly Luongo stands on this. "

You don't have answers to any of these questions.

Willful ignorance.

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#24 JCDavies
June 29 2013, 05:59PM
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@NM00

Uh, OK. Let me translate your post for you:

"I have no idea what role Luongo played in these negotiations but I am 100% certain that he is not to blame for any of this."

And also:

"If I admit anything different, I will undermine my anti-Gillis campaign."

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#25 NM00
June 29 2013, 07:48PM
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JCDavies wrote:

Uh, OK. Let me translate your post for you:

"I have no idea what role Luongo played in these negotiations but I am 100% certain that he is not to blame for any of this."

And also:

"If I admit anything different, I will undermine my anti-Gillis campaign."

Hahaha. I am not sure why you were talking about assumptions. You are a mind reader!

"You are very certain about a lot of things you have no reason to be certain about (unless you have been participating in the negotiations)."

"Luongo shouldn't get a pass on this either."

What exactly should Luongo be blamed for might I ask?

And by that I mean of what can you be certain that Luongo did to hurt the process?

You seem to be certain about a lot of things about which you have no reason to be certain.

Gillis is openly fielding offers for the goalie he wants to keep in Vancouver.

That would seem to indicate he has misread the market. Or is that too big of an assumption to make...

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#26 JCDavies
June 29 2013, 08:40PM
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@NM00

"What exactly should Luongo be blamed for might I ask?

And by that I mean of what can you be certain that Luongo did to hurt the process?"

If Lou wasn't in the way of the process he wouldn't have needed to do this:

"as soon as he opened up the list of teams to which he would agree to be traded." (your words)

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#27 JCDavies
June 29 2013, 08:42PM
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@NM00

"Gillis is openly fielding offers for the goalie he wants to keep in Vancouver.

That would seem to indicate he has misread the market. Or is that too big of an assumption to make..."

I haven't let Gillis off the hook for this. I still think he deserves a lot of the blame.

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#28 NM00
June 29 2013, 09:37PM
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JCDavies wrote:

"What exactly should Luongo be blamed for might I ask?

And by that I mean of what can you be certain that Luongo did to hurt the process?"

If Lou wasn't in the way of the process he wouldn't have needed to do this:

"as soon as he opened up the list of teams to which he would agree to be traded." (your words)

Right. But as I said "if the rumours are true".

You are suggesting I am "very certain about a lot of things you have no reason to be certain about (unless you have been participating in the negotiations)."

If we are ONLY going off the facts of which we are certain, what evidence do you have that Lou deserves blame?

We have plenty of evidence that Gillis deserves blame.

We know for a fact he devoted over $9 million in cap space this past season to the goaltending position.

We know this is poor cap management.

Actually, perhaps that is too big of an assumption for you.

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#29 JCDavies
June 29 2013, 11:41PM
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@NM00

"We have plenty of evidence that Gillis deserves blame. "

How many times do I need to agree with this? Once more, I agree.

In the weeks I have been reading your posts I honestly can't remember you criticizing anybody but Gillis. You seem completely unopen to the possibility that other people are also fallible.

My argument was never that Gillis was without blame.

This "softening" by Luongo of his list of preferred destinations that you keep talking about means nothing without context: What destinations did he add to his list? Did they need a goalie at the time? Did they have the required cap space for him or had they already filled out their roster because he waited too long before adding them to his list? Did they have anybody worthwhile to trade? If they traded roster players, would they be able to find replacements?

Increasing the number of teams on his list doesn't necessarily make possible trades more feasible. Agreeing to go to a team that doesn't need a goalie wouldn't make a trade more feasible. Agreeing to go to a team with no cap space wouldn't make a trade more feasible. By waiting until after the draft and the most important part of free agency had passed before expanding his list, Luongo made himself more difficult to trade. If the Canucks were looking for roster players in exchange for Luongo, how is the other team going to find replacements for those players if free agency has already passed?

It amazes me that you are so quick to pass judgement on Gillis but seem entirely unable to look at anybody else critically.

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#30 NM00
June 29 2013, 11:52PM
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@JCDavies

"By waiting until after the draft and the most important part of free agency had passed before expanding his list, Luongo made himself more difficult to trade."

Again, on what are you basing this?

I qualified my comments with "if the rumours are true".

You said I was "certain" of things without evidence. Where is your evidence on Lou waiting to expand his list?

And, again, it is his contractual right. He doesn't have to go to Columbus, for example, if he doesn't want to.

"It amazes me that you are so quick to pass judgement on Gillis but seem entirely unable to look at anybody else critically."

Another assumption. And diversion. You are really grasping here.

I repeat "If we are ONLY going off the facts of which we are certain, what evidence do you have that Lou deserves blame?"

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#31 JCDavies
June 30 2013, 12:43AM
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@NM00

Ah, yes, the facts. Why would you go looking for them yourself when they don't support your argument.

It has been widely reported that Luongo tried to block all trades that didn't send him to Florida and that he was the reason the trade between Toronto and Vancouver at the draft didn't happen.

http://www.torontosun.com/2012/06/25/luongo-rejects-trade-to-leafs-report

http://www.thescore.com/home/articles/295166-report-luongo-will-waive-ntc-for-panthers-not-for-leafs

http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/luongo-refused-to-waive-no-trade-to-join-leafs/

http://blogs.theprovince.com/2013/03/07/van-provies-kadri-edition/

http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/hockey/vancouver-canucks/Vancouver+Canucks+consider+trading+goalie/8598483/story.html

Luongo didn't begin to add to his list until late summer. You know, "if the rumours are true".

Why do you keep going back to Columbus (at least four times tonight) in your examples? It's probably the least desirable location for Luongo. He could have easily added teams to his list without adding Columbus.

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#32 NM00
June 30 2013, 10:15AM
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@JCDavies

"I repeat "If we are ONLY going off the facts of which we are certain, what evidence do you have that Lou deserves blame?"

Rumours are all you have to go on to assign blame to Lou.

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#33 JCDavies
June 30 2013, 01:11PM
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@NM00

"Rumours are all you have to go on "

Haha, wow. Rumors are all you have ever had to back up your side of the story. You can't produce one source that definitively says that Gillis was responsible for the Canuck's inability to trade Luongo last summer and not: Luongo; Nonis and Burke; and/or Tallon. It's easy to win arguments when you don't hold yourself to the same standards you try to hold others.

Botchford is as close to the Canucks as anybody who is not a part of the organization. If you don't believe what he writes, then nothing you read on this site is going to matter.

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#34 NM00
June 30 2013, 03:45PM
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@JCDavies

Thank you captain obvious?

Going simply on facts, Gillis's biggest screwup was not trading Schneider two years earlier.

Two years of his value has been eroded when the Canucks were at the top of the win curve. In what world is this disputable knowing what we now know.

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#35 JCDavies
June 30 2013, 04:33PM
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@NM00

That's crazy, there is no way Schneider gets a top-ten pick in 2011.

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