Moving Roberto Luongo Is Not As Easy As You Think
The season may be over for the Canucks and the city of Vancouver, but there's still a lot of things that need to be addressed with this team. GM Mike Gillis has already admitted that the direction in the style of play needs to be changed in order to evolve in the physical realm that is the present day NHL. He's got some pieces to move, one of the biggest being Goalie Roberto Luongo.
Now before people shout "Trade him!', let's take a look as to why it's going to be a hard move to do shall we?
First off He has a full No Trade Clause in his contract. Though he can submit a list of five teams that he'd waive the clause for. Next, would be his cap hit of $5.3 million dollars over the next 9 years. Nine years. He'll be 43 by the time his contract has expired. If your an interested GM, you really need to think long and hard about this cap hit. Another thing is his age. At 34 He's not a spring chicken anymore, and the wear and tear of the everyday grind may start taking a toll on him. Lastly, landing spots. This is tricky since the Canucks can only deal with five teams of Luongo's choice. Last but not least is the amnesty buyout. This could be an option, but I don't believe Vancouver wants to go down this road. Sure, he'd get to walk away; but the team would get nothing in return and would still have to pay him the remaining money over the length of the contract.
Now all of this doesn't mean he's a bad guy in the locker room. The often misunderstood Luongo has been touted as a great teammate and is even very good friends with his fellow goaltender Cory Schneider. He's even gone on to go do some great interviews and a memorable skit on TSN with Schneider as well.
He's also still a very serviceable goalie. Though his SV% was down this year(.907, his lowest since 2000 when he posted a .904 SV% in his rookie season with the Islanders), but he's still maintained respectable numbers(9-6 record in 20 games this season with a 2.56 GAA). A lot of teams could really use that right now.
Should the flurry of the NHL offseason start and Luongo gets dealt to a new team; it'll be somewhat tricky, but not impossible.