Canuck Player Autopsy : Roberto Luongo

Rich Lam

You KNOW you are going to miss him when he is gone. Admit it. @Strombone1 won you over more than his being in the discussion for "best goaltender of his generation". Though, like the NFL with quarterbacks, we tend to associate rings with "best" when it comes to goaltenders.

WHO IS THIS GUY?

Roberto Luongo : aka Bobby Lou, Lui, the Golden Goalie. "LUUUUUUUUUU" while at home, 7uongo and "he's actually pretty good damnit" on the road. And of course Stombone1

Born: Montreal, Que. They speak French AND English there. And occasionally turn out superstar goalies.

Drafted: 1st overall by the New York Islanders in 1997. Before NBC analyst and awful general manager Mike Milbury decided to trade him to Florida for, well, not that much.

Position: Defender of the Crease. Like Highlander, there can be only one.

Catches: Left

Height: 6'3"

Weight: 217 lbs

Contract Status: many more years left on his current contract, signed until 2021-22.

Cap Hit: $5,333,333

WHAT DID HE DO?

Handled his shit like a boss while the entire hockey world speculated on when he wouldn't, only once breaking his zen at the trade deadline ( understandably after Dave Nonis trolled the Canucks hard by screwing around, playing the team along, and then asking for changes at the 11th hour. You better hope GMMG doesn't trade him to the East there Davey. You know how those things are... Instead, he and Cory Schneider just kept on keeping on. Their friendship, at least outwardly to us clowns ( just kidding, it looks pretty sincere to me, at least! ), put paid to about every one of those "when will they get upset about who is called #1" stories.

While he was at it, in that fishbowl, where not only the rabid Vancouver media, but the national boys too, Roberto Luongo put up some OK numbers, but not to his standards. Perhaps they would have improved with his usual workload. But with the 20 games he did start, he went 9-6-3-2, with a .907 save % and a 2.56 GAA. That is slightly below his usual standards, of course. He only played 2 games in the short playoff run too, and did pretty well, but let's not bitch about who should have started or not. That story is done. It is what it is, as they say.

SO WAS HE ANY GOOD?

That is the 48 million dollar question, isn't it? The above numbers are a bit below the man's career numbers. The big one is a career .919 save %. Think about that for a second. That is since being selected in 1999. It is also higher than any other current goalie who has been around that long. Guys like Martin Brodeur (.913 ) who went down as he got older, and Dominik Hasek (.922 in a similar number of games ) are in that league. Tim Thomas and Pekka Rinne are both .920 in less than half of the 742 starts Luongo has been in since he started his first in an Islander uniform. The only guy on that list who is comparable is Henrik Lundqvist, who has a career .920 save % over 511 games. That is some pretty decent competition when asking if you should trade for Roberto Luongo. ( Cory Schneider, for comparison sake, is a .927 in 98 games played )

Now, the playoffs. That is the one the haters of the Canucks point to with their "neener neener". Well, OK then. A career .916 over 64 games played is not that bad, but the doorstep everyone lays their mythos at is 2011. Fine then. In the Final that year, the man had 2 shutouts in a 7 game series, and was the obvious Conn Smythe winner if Game 7 goes the other way. It did not, as we Canuck fans are painfully aware. But, like I said then, and will repeat now. It is a team game, and the team scored 8 goals in a seven game series.

Luongo was slightly below his career averages last year, but is definitely someone that should invoke some interest on the trade market. It just depends on how you do your goaltending. If you want a young tandem, then, no, don't make an offer. If you want a signature "#1 ", then you get one of the best, at a Cap hit about a million ( at least ) under the other "#1's" in the NHL. You just have a commitment for a longer period of time. With the "Burke Rule", that will penalize the Canucks far into the future. Maybe. Don't forget that buying him out in those later years is going to be cheap, AND still penalize the Canucks a bit. Plus, you can, in essence, trade Cap these days anyhow.

What I am saying is the "contract is bad" narrative is a bit specious. It is just that other GM's are going to buy into that narrative HARD to get a better deal from GMMG.

WHAT DID WE LIKE?

Well, I am a fan, so, a lot. But, since this is his last year here, and because Roberto Luongo is so much fun. Here are some video highlights both on and off the ice.

Off the ice. This was awesome...

On...he's pretty good too. Lots to choose from on Youtube, but I kinda agree with this fan's Top 5

Now, for those that would just be irrational about it, I give you this. It's 20 minutes long. Heart of a Canuck indeed.

How about we close out with this one. Just a bunch more saves. I totally agree with the guy that made it. Wherever you end up Roberto Luongo, you will be the best goalie in team history. Cory Schneider is the future, and we love him too. But this guy deserves the title for now.

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