Now that Mike Gillis and staff have found their man in John Tortorella, they will now focus their efforts on trading Roberto Luongo, most likely at the NHL Draft on Sunday, according to TSN.
"I think it's a strong draft," said Gillis. "I think there's opportunity, but we don't have a second-round pick, because we traded it at the trade deadline to try and get stronger for the playoffs. That's a practice that I don't like, and I haven't liked, and I'm not sure what we can do with that."
While many see Luongo as an elite goalie (which he is), and that is $5.3 million cap hit is decent for a super goalie, the term still may scare most people off. Roberto's deal expires in 2022. He will have earned $43.57 million over the first 6 seasons (an average of over $7 million per season). At that time he will be 37 years old. The second half of the tenure will cost an owner $20.4 million, as the latter yearly costs drop dramatically, because of the cap circumvention Mike Gillis pulled. That will bring Luongo close to 43 years of age. Yea yea, he can be a good mentor in his 40's to some new punk kid goalie, but not at a $5.3 million cap hit!
With the Flyers buying out Danny Briere and Ilya Bryzgalov, many project Lou to end up in Philadelphia. Flyers GM told the media yesterday:
"I don’t see how that would work."
Yea, he's been known to be full of shit before. But he also said yesterday that he is willing to go with Steve Mason as the #1 goaltender, because, you know, the Flyers never go with a bonafide goaltender, do they?
Take it for what it is.
The Islanders were another projected Luongo destination. But given their fails with Rick Dipietro and Alexei Yashin's uber-fail long term contracts, can you really see them taking in another one of those? According to NY Post writer Brett Cyrgalis yesterday:
League source says #Isles not one of the teams inquiring about Luongo. That certainly doesn't mean they won't try to upgrade in net.
Is it just me, or the options of moving Luongo becoming very limited? The Leafs are out after acquiring Jonathan Bernier. Most teams have a #1 goaltender in place.
Why the hell wouldn't teams hardball Gillis and force to use the compliance buyout on Roberto? Then the Canucks can assume the buyout penalty over the next many years and the few teams that want Luongo can negotiate a new contract with him as a free agent? And by a new contract, I mean one that doesn't run until he is 43 years old. Of course Canucks management is not going to like that, but they made their bed so they may have to sleep in it.
It's not like there are no other top tier goaltender options out there to acquire besides Luongo. Right Ryan Miller?
And that is my prediction. I predict Gillis will not be able to trade Luongo at the draft and that he will be forced to buy him out before the free agency period hits July 5, which is really not all that far away. After all, Luongo said it himself:
"My contract sucks."