Struggling out of the gate and absent a healthy second line, the Vancouver Canucks could use a Roberto Luongo trade right about now – even if the idea of keeping the Cory Schneider/Luongo battery in place for the truncated season might be tantalizing.
GM Mike Gillis certainly sounded like he’s actively shopping Luongo, as he spoke with Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun about the state of the ‘Nucks.
In fact, Gillis said there might be a deal in place for Vancouver’s gold-medal-winning, conference-winning, Vezina contending backup goaltender.
The Luongo trade, or non-trade, which has taken on a life of its own with the way Schneider started the season (five goals on 14 shots before being pulled Saturday), could happen soon, or in a month, or not at all.
“We have a potential deal in place with one team that has to do something with another player that they have — and it’s not who anybody thinks it is — and so we have to wait. (But) we’ve been offered packages that don’t fit what our plan is, what we need,” said Gillis.
That has to do something with another players that they have … this would almost seem like a reference to the three unsigned high-profile restricted free agents in the NHL: Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars, P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens and Ryan O’Reilly of the Colorado Avalanche.
Carey Price says we can rule out that middle team. Considering the ‘Lanche traded a No. 1 pick for Semyon Varlamov, perhaps you rule them out? (Although Luongo would be an upgrade.) Luongo to Dallas? Yeah, not so much with Kari Lehtonen signed through 2018 and Jack Campbell on the way. (Although their owner does have a Vancouver connection … cue ominous music.)
The idea that Vancouver would trade Luongo to the Western Conference is hard to swallow. So perhaps Gillis is referring to an Eastern Conference team that has kicked the tires on Luongo, and that might like to upgrade their goalie position from “crazy person who implodes in the playoffs” to “simply implodes in the playoffs.”
Unless he's talking about the New York Islanders. Mike Milbury, head asplode.
What are the Canucks avoiding in these trade talks?
Gillis told Cole:
“Excess salary coming back with a [throw-in] player who can’t play in our lineup. They say, ‘OK, we’ll do this, but you’ve got to take this.’ Well, we’re not taking it. We’ve had lots of proposals like that with good pieces that can help us but the other part doesn’t help us, and oftentimes they have term attached to them, so we’d just be turning around and buying out a guy.
“I’d rather keep the guy we know, who’s a good person.”
We’re coming around to that idea, too.
Granted, it may not be the most proactive move when it comes to Cory Schneider’s future or his sanity. Granted, you might be hanging on to Brett Favre and squeezing out Aaron Rodgers (comparison stolen from Keith Jones).
But Luongo and Schneider give you a better chance at the Cup than Schneider and Lack, no?