Luongo Non-Trade Reax

The big story for the Canucks at the deadline was what didn’t happen. Roberto Luongo wasn’t shipped out of town as many expected he might be when he was pulled off of the ice just ten minutes prior to noon Pacific Time. Luogno was emotional at a press conference afterwards even admitting that his contract "sucks." Mike Gillis was a bit more circumspect.

Let’s roundup what’s being said about Vancouver’s inability to move their star backup goaltender elsewhere, on the other side of the jump.

Pierre LeBrun dissects the failed deal between Toronto and Vancouver: 

Sources tell that the Canucks were willing to unload Luongo on Toronto for goalie Ben Scrivens and a pair of second-round picks in their final, final offer before the minutes ticked away.

The answer was still no by Toronto, which felt all along that no other team in the NHL was even remotely interested in Luongo and, because of that, the Canucks essentially should be giving him away….

… The failure of the Canucks and the Leafs to consummate a Luongo deal, however, will no doubt fuel bigger-picture conclusions and story lines from many.

Let’s face it, Leafs GM Dave Nonis and Canucks GM Mike Gillis don’t like each other, the latter replacing the former as GM in Vancouver.

Which no doubt will lead some people to wonder if Nonis all along wanted to string the Canucks along, only to leave them holding the bag on deadline day. Leafs sources vehemently denied that.

Jason Botchford gives us good reason to doubt Toronto’s intentions:

The Canucks put on a big push to move him in the final hour, making several calls to the Toronto Maple Leafs. But every time they called, the Leafs changed what they were willing to give up for him. One time it was nothing but a prospect. On the next call, it was only a player. Then it was just draft picks.

In the end, the Canucks asked for backup goalie Ben Scrivens and two second-round draft picks. Toronto still said no. That offer leaked out hours later.

As if Luongo’s pride hasn’t taken enough of a hit.

It leaves you wondering how serious the Leafs were, and if a lot of their alleged interest in Luongo was really a put on or a long con. If it was, and they were sure to always keep the dialogue going, that’s quite the emotional mudslide they dragged Luongo through.

Bruce Arthur on the impact of the cap-recapture clause (ironically known more commonly as "the Luongo rule"):

But Luongo was the potential franchise-changer for two Canadian teams, and afterwards he looked like a basset hound who had been kicked.

He’s not a tragic figure, obviously, but it’s easy to feel sympathetic for the guy, even if you don’t follow his delightful semi-anonymous alter ego on Twitter, @strombone1. The NHL had always warned that the long-term, long-tail deals that were splashed around during the life of the last collective bargaining agreement would be subject to penalty, and Luongo is the first one to feel its effects. Under the new CBA, the team that signed and the team that trades for a long-contract player will be penalized under the salary cap if that player retires before the contract ends. Luongo’s big money stops in 2018. There are four seasons left after that. Unless he plays until he’s 43, the contract is going to hurt somebody.

Harrison Mooney empathizes with the unfair spot Luongo finds himself in:

But, even more frustrating was that, in the final minutes before the deadline, it looked like they had done it. Luongo was pulled from practice, leading many to assume that the long-awaited deal had finally come to fruition. Instead, it turned out no deal had been made, and as they continued negotiating, they just needed him on hand in case they needed him to waive that no-trade clause at the wire. Then it turned out they didn’t.

The emotional rollercoaster was hard on Luongo. He admitted to feeling fine right up until yesterday, when it hit him that this could be it. And then, moments after he thought he was going to have to face the future, he’s right back in limbo.

"I’m not disappointed in the way I have handled the situation," Luongo said at one point, and he shouldn’t be. But clearly, he’s disappointed in the situation, and thats fair, because this situation no longer is.

Iain Macintyre calls out Mike Gillis’ asset management:

Luongo’s  humility and loyalty to the Canucks and Schneider have been admirable, but it was clear today how disappointed he is that any resolution is now likely months away.

The Canucks should be disappointed, too. They will likely have $5.33 million worth of their salary cap sitting on the bench as they try to win a Stanley Cup, which is a poor use of their limited resources.

With Schneider starting after signing a three-year, $12-million deal, the money spent on Luongo would have been better deployed on a couple of players to upgrade the Canucks at other positions.

Finally, Cam Tucker zooms in on Mike Gillis’ post-deadline spin:

Gillis tried to downplay Luongo’s comments, as well as the contract being a prohibitive factor in trade talks surrounding the goalie.

“I think that he was very emotional and I think these days are emotional for everybody,” said Gillis.

“So, when you have a day like this where your whole life could be turned upside down, then you speak to you guys (media) right after, I think there’s an opportunity for things to be said that in the clear light of day might not be reflective of how he really feels.”

And the reasons, according to Gillis, why Luongo was not moved? “Basically, the discussions we’ve had, I still don’t think it’s as hard as people want to make it out to be,” said the GM.

  • UkeeRob

    It’s exceedingly easy to call Mike Gillis out on “bad asset management” in the wake of this year’s deadline, but Macintyre’s argument that the $5.33 could have been put to better use elsewhere is dumb because it ignores the fact that the $5.33 million in savings is only useful if you can spend it on other players. As far as we can tell, the Canucks were in a position to add Clowe’s cap hit without having to move other players, so they had enough cap space to do whatever they wanted.

    Just offloading Luongo for picks does nothing for the team this season. They’re better off having a .920%+ ES goalie for like 4 or 5 games than they are having cap savings for the balance of this season, because for a team who is “fertile” now, a draft pick is useless until the summer.

    When the season’s over, this all changes of course because the cap crunch becomes the primary concern. Trade him for picks then, as it doesn’t matter as much if can’t get a roster player back. All in all, I don’t think it’s the asset management catastrophe that the MSM guys seem to think it is, and Gillis made a really solid move in adding Roy. The trade deadline wasn’t a failure, and the Canucks are still good. The only thing they really need to add is health.

  • Fred-65

    Couple of days ago, Gilman said this was our time etc/all in etc. This deal (Scrivens + picks) would weaken us in this playoff run, so it would seem Gillis was willing to make this deal to ‘free’ Luongo, rather than wait for the draft.

    On the other hand, we have to get rid of Luongo in the off season, so from the point of view of other GMs, this was our last bit of leverage (effectively a rental for the playoffs). In the summer he has to go for whatever we can get.

  • tru north

    the whole situation sucks …
    Gillis, and everyone else, has their hands tied in this one.

    A goalie with Loungo’s credentials is being shopped for a questionable backup goalie and 2 second round picks?

    what? … this is not value for value – player wise or otherwise.
    strictly $$$

    what fan/armchair GM wouldn’t jump to have Loungo for that if they wanted to upgrade their netminder?

    lo these many years ago most Canuck fans would have.

  • UkeeRob

    2 goalies will be paid ~33.5 mil over next 5 years.
    Regular Season Stats:
    2.53 and 2.52 GAA .916 and .919 SV% .536 and .501W%
    Playoff Stats:
    2.84 and 2.53 GAA .907 and .916 SV% .307 and .525W%

    Further 1 of these goalies will need a contract extension after 5 years and itll come with a raise that I figure will be greater than 1.7mil

    So can someone explain to me how Lui’s contract is terrible?
    In 5 or even 6 years he retires (he will be 39/40). The team that gets him in this offseason would be on the hook for about 1.6-1.7mil per year penalty and the Nucks for 1.8-1.9.
    Ya that sucks but does anyone believe that the NHL/GMs dont know where the Cap is going and wont be able to absorb that/plan for it.

    If not obvious by now but Lui is one of the goalies above and the other is Carey Price. Quick and Rinne have some better (not much) #s but they’re Cap Hits and Total Salaries are higher (not to mention Quick also has a back diving contract).

    So why wouldnt a team that has a prospect goalie not bring in Lui to give they’re rookie the Schneider treatment (slowly bring him up as a backup and as time progress he takes over) rather than signing another young and unproven guy like Bernier or trade for Miller and his higher cap hit (albiet for only 2 years). Dont even mention Smith as Bryz has proven you can’t trust a ‘Yotes goalie.

    I just got sick of the Bell and Rogers owned TSN and Sportsnet (what else do they own?) just doing a hatchet job of Lui and how he was untradable and that Vancouver should just give him away. Nice way to treat a guy that helped win a gold medal and has already been replaced for 2014 by Price/MAF/Ward.

    • UkeeRob

      I agree about the hatchet job TSN is doing to Lui. Those Toronto homers are just trying to decrease Lui’s value so Nonis can get him for next to nothing. Well it didn’t work, so good luck losing, I mean playing, in the first round with your two inexperienced goalies TO. Man that will hurt….waiting that many years to get back to the playoffs only to embarass yourselves in the first round.

        • UkeeRob

          If Daniel wasn’t head hunted by Duncan Keith we would have won against LA. Unfortunately injuries are part of the game. Losing to the eventual Cup winner isn’t bad, losing in the first round when you haven’t made the playoffs in almost a decade would be hard to swallow. Thats Toronto’s fate this year and that would be bad. That’s my point.

          • Mantastic

            why would it be hard to swallow? not making the playoffs for a decade means the team isn’t very good and the year they finally make it and get bounced in the 1st shouldn’t really surprise anyone in the fan base. sure they’ll be mad but they really shouldn’t expect to make it past the 1st round

          • UkeeRob

            The reason why it would be hard to swallow is after years of mediocrity the Leafs should have rebuilt the right way. All those years of Mats kept the leafs mediocre and thus not at the head of the line for the premium draft picks. Finally he leaves and they tank. Then Burke in his infinite wisdom decides to trade two premium draft picks for Kessel, who will only lead the Leafs into more years of mediocrity. See the endless cycle? How good would the Leafs look now with Kadri,Gardiner,Seguin and Hamilton as a young core. Throw in Luongo and they could make a run to the cup in the next few years. I’m just not sure Reimer or Scrivens would make that possible. Maybe I’m wrong we’ll see.

        • Mantastic

          That’s how a simpleton with an agenda like you would frame it.

          The educated fan is aware most results have context, such as LA having the best puck possession numbers in the league after the Johnson/Carter trade.

  • KleptoKlown

    The Canucks need to trade Schneider this off season.

    Schneider may be the better option in net, but not by a significant amount. He’s cheaper now, but when his current contract expires, chances are he will be making more than Lou. I think that he is the better of the 2, but the Canucks with Lou plus Schneider’s trade value is a better team than the Canucks with Schneider plus Luo’s value.

    Being Lou’s back up has to be one of the easiest jobs in hockey. The Canucks still have Eddie Lack in the minors. This year has been a bust for him, as he has been hurt. Lou can do what he did with Schneider, and do it with Lack too. It will give the Canucks a chance to see if Lack can live up to his potential. Lack’s contract is an easily affordable $750k

    Luongo is not a horrible goalie, but the rumored returns on him have been. The return on Schneider would be plenty, and I still believe that Luongo can be the goalie that wins a cup in Vancouver.

  • UkeeRob

    Ironically I feel more confident about Lack/Cannata as goaltenders than I do about Reimer/Scrivens. And our guys are 3rd and 4th on the depth chart! lol.

    Of course this largely has to do with following the Canucks and not the Leafs but from what I’ve seen in the games I have watched they haven’t impressed me much.

    The whole Luongo saga does seem like manipulation on the part of the Toronto media. Nonis wanted his toy back and pouted when he couldn’t get it. Waaaah!