The soap opera in Vancouver continues, which makes sense, since soap operas never really end.
On Tuesday, the Canucks held their annual Summer Summit, with Mike Gillis, John Tortorella, Victor de Bonis and Bill Daly taking questions from the club's season ticket holders. As you might imagine, the foremost of these questions had to do with Roberto Luongo, and whether or not he'd be where he was contractually bound to be -- in Vancouver for training camp -- come September.
"I feel very optimistic about it," Gillis said (to applause, hilariously), which should placate the fanbase right up until they realize there's a stark difference between optimism and certainty. This thing's not over.
But it does sound as though Luongo is coming around. For one thing, at no point in his conversation with the Canucks' GM did he push the button that drops his guest into the dungeon below his house. It sounds like he never even threatened to.
“I was comfortable there,” Gillis said. “We have a really good relationship so we were laughing for most of it. It wasn’t strained or adversarial at all. Far from it. It was the opposite. I still think Roberto’s working his way through everything that occurred and what happened. I think he’s gonna be fine."
Not just fine, however. Gillis didn't skimp on the headline-worthy quote later on, describing the conversation as "fine and good.” Fit to print!
More than anything, it sounds as though, while the six-year marriage between Luongo and the Canucks is seriously fractured, both sides are willing to start over and take it slow. At times, Gillis describing the meeting had the vibe of a bachelor describing a first date to Chuck Woolery on an old episode of Love Connection.
“It was fun and amiable and it wasn’t stressful or anything," Gillis said. "We talked about the team. We talked about the coaching change and pretty much everything we could talk about. I told him how I felt about him and how we felt about him as an organization.”
Romantic, and fittingly so for a soap opera. Watch out for Roberto's evil brother, Fabio.
(Scratch that. I just remembered that Luongo actually has a brother named Fabio.)
Understanding that their statements on the Luongo situation hardly qualified as news, especially when Luongo's still undercutting their optimism with his silence, the Canucks did their best to give the fans something else to talk about, announcing that Pavel Bure's number would be retired this season, then signing RFA Dale Weise in the morning.
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