Hockey Night in Canada’s Don Cherry doesn’t believe Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo will waive his no-trade clause to go to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Cherry, appearing on Sportsnet 590 The Fan’s Jim Lang and Mike Farwell Show, says Luongo will not want to go a market like Toronto, which is similar to Vancouver’s.
“Why would he want to come here and step into the same thing as Vancouver? Every time they lose, it’s his fault. He only took them to the seventh game (of the 2011 Stanley Cup final),” Cherry said on Sportsnet 590. “How many goaltenders have taken them to the seventh game?
“I don’t think he wants to step into a real hotspot like here. I think he wants to go to Florida because his wife comes from Florida. Although, (Toronto) would love to get him. I think he’s a dynamite goaltender.”
Without a doubt will Luongo want to go to Florida, but the chances of that happening is close to zero. The Panthers have 22 year old goaltender Jacob Markstrom, who is frequently referred to as the best goaltender not playing in the NHL, waiting in the wings.
Even if the Panthers have interest in acquiring Luongo to take on a mentoring and starting role until Markstrom hits his prime, the Panthers are unlikely to offer a package as lucrative as what Toronto could.
Trade rumours since the summer have linked Luongo to two teams: the Panthers and the Maple Leafs. There were also reports the Edmonton Oilers might be interested, but it is inevitable Luongo goes to Toronto. It makes too much sense to not happen.
Yes, Luongo may not want to play in a similarly pressure cooked market, but the expectations are different in Toronto. Vancouver is chasing a Stanley Cup, while Toronto is chasing a playoff berth for the first time since 2004.
Even though Luongo has been labelled as fragile in the playoffs by some pundits, it is well agreed he is a lights out regular season goaltender who can carry a team into the playoffs. The Leafs goaltending, or lack thereof, have left a lot to be desired. Fourteen different goaltenders have played more than one game for the club the past seven seasons.
Luongo will provide the Leafs with much needed stability in the crease and the team faded down the stretch last season partly because of their goaltending.