Ok, I’m not sure why calling Roberto Luongo a "diva" is such a big deal.
I mean, really, doesn’t every team want their starting goalie to be a highly distinguished performer that plays a leading role for them? Yes, but the Canucks are the only ones that can ice a goalie of Italian heritage, thereby making the "diva" label highly appropriate.
Well, I guess, technically, Tony Gallagher should have called him a "divo", but whatever. I’ll take it.
Ok, sure. Gallagher probably meant the term in a much more disparaging way, but then he should have used "prima donna" instead. I checked both Wikipedia and Dictionary.com, and the only definitions they had for "diva" were wholly positive. Maybe he mean, "prima donna," which while related, does have an officially negative definition. I would think somebody that makes a living out of stringing appropriate words together in a meaningful or entertaining way would choose his words carefully.
But I’ll let that go. Clearly he meant it in a derogatory way. The question for me is why would Gallagher stoop so low as to call out Luongo at this particular time? Well, it turns out Gallagher has quite a few beefs with Luongo, but one stands out much more than the others:
Damn gingers. Always sticking together like some carrot-topped mafia.
Anyway, the Gallagher piece set off a mini firestorm last night, when it first went up as a blog post, but it really hit the fan this morning after making the back cover of the Province. Twitter was all, well, atwitter over it. Words were said. Accusations were made. Many straw dogs were burned to the ground.
Ground zero of this flame war was whether Luongo should share any of the blame for the predicament he and the team find themselves in, especially with respect whether or not he blocked any trade opportunities prior to the application of the cap recapture penalty as part of the new CBA. If you ask me, there’s plenty of blame to go around:
You can all make up your own mind on whether Luongo blocked a potential trade or not, but there’s enough out there to suggest he did, at least informally. Sure, he says he was never asked to waive his No Trade Clause at any time throughout this whole saga. I’ll take him at his word for that. But in his interview with TSN’s James Duthie, he pretty clearly suggested he actively discouraged any trades anywhere other than his preferred destination:
What happened was a couple… one or two days before last year’s draft, Mike just told me that there was two or three teams were interested. He just said "interested", he never said "I have a trade for this team or this team" and all I said was "Mike, if you can, if you could do something with either Florida or Tampa, I would appreciate that, and if it doesn’t work out we can move on."
With that as context, Gillis’ hands were indeed tied, even if only briefly in the overall scheme of things. The problem is, it wasn’t much longer after the 2012 draft that attention turned to re-signing free agents before a new CBA was in place, and the looming lockout.
So yeah, Luongo is stuck here, tied to a team he had mentally "divorced," as he so aptly put in that same TSN interview. But if you ask me, he was off slightly in use of the metaphor. Yes, this whole situation is indeed like a divorce. Only in this case, the mom got custody but the kid wants to go live with dad down in Florida instead. Problem is, dad is hooked up with a much younger Swede and doesn’t really want the distraction.
Anyway, the "discussion" on Twitter quickly devolved into both sides assuming the other is arguing the most extreme version of their position possible, i.e. business as usual on the internets.
Soon after, however, the #TeamDiva hashtag made a brief appearance as a sarcastic show of support for Luongo as a result of the Gallagher hatchet job. But I really want to caution you Canucks’ fans out there on taking this #TeamDiva thing too far. After all, "divas" is how they pronounce divers in Boston: