It seems to change each year – what model to follow to win the Stanley Cup. For several years, the Vancouver Canucks have tried to win it with twins and a goaltender. Last year the Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup with grit, determination and size. This year the Los Angeles Kings are trying to do it with goaltending, and the New Jersey Devils are trying to do it with seasoned veterans.
Vancouver’s attempts have left them looking to the skies and wondering what piece they might be missing to capture hockey’s greatest prize for the first time in the franchise history. That plan in the near future, might not include veteran goaltender Roberto Luongo.
On Wednesday, James Duthie from TSN reported that Luongo was going to issue a short list to Vancouver management of teams that he would waive his NTC to join. Interestingly, one of those teams is the Toronto Maple Leafs.
A smart move by all parties involved. Vancouver doesn’t have to deal with Luongo on the ice other than the one or two times they might have to play Toronto. The odds of Toronto getting to the Stanley Cup Finals is slim to none. Luongo has connections to the Leafs through their goaltending coach.
Toronto benefits as well, as they need a number one goalie, and they have the cap room to take on the orca of a salary that Luongo will bring with him.
So, where is the downside? Well Toronto won’t be the only team offering up a dumping ground of Luongo. Vancouver is not going to give him up on the cheap, your going to have to cough up a draft pick, prospects and maybe an NHL presence to get the goalie, unless the ‘nucks are that interested in getting rid of him that he will be gifted to another organization.
The Canucks have to tread lightly on their goaltending situation, they are not going to get Schneider to sign a long term deal if they can’t get themselves out from under Luongo – while opening the door for line changes sounds like the dream job for any regular joe out there, even at league minimum, guys like Schneider want to play. They don’t really want to move Luongo if they can’t get Schneider under contract. Of course if they lose on both those goalies there are going to be some other goalies on the market looking for a place to play.
Thomas, Kiprosoff are goalies that are rumored to be on the outs as their organizations could be set to go in another direction, and Marty Biron is a free agent as well. Vancouver has, options.
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