We knew that Roberto Luongo’s comments yesterday about being willing to waive his no-trade clause were of interest, and were bound to help feed speculation this summer. What we didn’t know was that he’d actually requested a trade.
To be fair, we don’t have official confirmation on that last point from the player or the organization. But at this point, it sounds all but confirmed.
Greg Wyshynski has a nice re-cap of what we (supposedly) know over at Puck Daddy, a re-cap I’ll summarize here:
- Luongo asked for a trade before being asked
- A list of potential destinations will be provided next week
- Toronto and Tampa Bay will both be on it
- Luongo’s wife lives in Florida
- A Luongo trade to Toronto, one way or the other, would be a never-ending story for Vancouver
The last two points are the ones I’m going to focus in on.
First, if Luongo is going to supply a list of potential destinations, than the Canucks can treat all those destinations as relatively equal; Luongo might have a preference to go to Florida, but if he’s willing to accept a trade to the North Pole the Canucks can trade him to the North Pole without worrying about which team on his list he *really* wants to go to.
Second, if Toronto offers the most for Luongo, I don’t doubt that Gillis moves him there. Yes, from a media standpoint it could hurt the general manager, but then the Cody Hodgson trade could have hurt the general manager and he did that anyway. A G.M. like Gillis does what he thinks is best for the team, regardless of media fallout. Toronto has a number of attractive roster options and they’re out East, so it’s conceivable that they make the most sense as a destination.
The real question is what kind of return Luongo would garner.
Some observers think that he’ll be worth a lot; others feel that the return isn’t likely to be much at all. I fall somewhere in the middle. I don’t expect Vancouver to land a high-end player in exchange; instead I expect they’d have to take back some salary along with one or two good young players/picks.
There’s another option here too, though: one imagines that Luongo might be just fine in Vancouver if he doesn’t have to compete with Cory Schneider for the starting job. In other words, while I tend to agree with the consensus wisdom that the Canucks will deal Luongo, Mike Gillis may still have the option of moving Schneider in the off-season if the return is better and holding on to Luongo.
We’ll certainly continue to speculate on what Luongo might garner in return until such time as he’s actually dealt – and things are bound to heat up once we have a better idea of potential destinations. For the moment, though, it’s enough to know that Luongo is pushing for a way out.