Being a goaltender in hockey has got to be one of the most difficult jobs in sports. Just playing the position. Roberto Luongo did that in Vancouver and also had to go through a lot of drama, created by the media and fans, on top of performing one of the difficult jobs in sports. You have to admire his perseverance and professionalism and comedic personality even in his tenure with the Vancouver Canucks. It sure as hell was a rocky ride at times. We all know what those times where, whether it was the captaincy ordeal, the blame game for the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals loss (which was both justified AND unjustified considering the team in front of him couldn't score enough goals), the Cory Schneider saga, etc etc.
Roberto was done playing here, at least from what we found out via the media, since May of 2012. I am not going to jump on Mike Gillis for not getting a deal done earlier (for better value of not). I am just glad that Lou no longer has to put up a professional act / front with this organization in front of the fans and media and that Gillis did finally trade him to his dream destination: Florida.
Am I angry that the Canucks have to eat some of his salary for the next several years? Only in the sense that when Mike Gillis made that lifetime deal with Lou it was in a different era, prior to the new CBA completely dicking the situation. I actually tip my hat to Gillis for doing all he could to keep the best goaltender that this franchise has ever seen HERE. For whatever reason, the Canucks have always had the inability to keep superstar players here. I don't know if it's the rainy climate or the lack of success or both. But take your pick on star players.....they don't finish their careers here, by choice. Out of anything that has gone through my mind today, THAT has resonated the most. At least the Sedins are the biggest exception, even though they are struggling so badly. Trevor Linden is another example, even though he's no Bure or Luongo skill-wise.
Roberto Luongo is my favorite Canuck player of all time. I am a huge fan of goaltenders. I have been a Luongo supporter and apologist to no end for his entire tenure here, even when it was cool to hate on him. I will remain a Luongo fan forever. I will keep my Lou Canucks jersey and wear it with pride, just as I always have. We lost a good one on Tuesday. I am saddened by it, even though I knew the trade was inevitable.
This Luongo compilation really is the best:
Strombone1 For The Win
Thank you Vancouver for a great 8 years! Really appreciative of all the support especially the last little while. I will miss the LOOO'ing!!— Strombone (@strombone1) March 5, 2014
And take good care of my boy Eddie Lack for me. He's a great talent and an even better person!— Strombone (@strombone1) March 5, 2014
Amen. Best of luck in Florida, Roberto. Enjoy the "quieter" life there. Don't run out of hair grease. Thanks for everything.