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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Roberto Luongo’s Ego too Big for him to Want to Stay with the Canucks – On a Radio Program in Vancouver on July 6th he Spoke Like he was no Longer a Canuck Despite Not Even Being Traded – Also Luongo’s BC Lottery Corporation Poker TV Commercials

In Round 1 of this year’s playoffs against the Kings, Luongo’s ego was bruised when he was pulled as the starter in favor of Schneider, and when Schneider outplayed Luongo that was enough for Luongo to state that he wanted to be traded. Hard to believe a grown man would act like that!

Well, Luongo is still waiting for an NHL team to take a chance on him, and he could be waiting and waiting because he has never proven that he is an elite goalie in the NHL, but rather, only a very good goalie who can be extremely hot or utterly brutal. More on that after I present some of what Luongo said in a radio interview in Vancouver on Friday July 6th. Notice that he is talking like the Canucks have already traded him. I quote:

“I HAD a great six years in Vancouver. It’s a really wonderful city. I ENJOYED my time there……………”

People, this guy has so much pride that he has to gather sympathy from fans and try to publicly force a trade! I guess that he actually believes that the decision to be traded is up to him, and it isn’t.

Luongo has a no-trade clause but he agreed with GM Mike Gillis to waive that for about five teams. Well, Luongo had better expand that to the entire league, and fast if he wants to be out of Vancouver before the start of the upcoming season. I suggest that he offers to take a pay cut so that another team can more easily facilitate him. Luongo was a 10 million dollar man in the 2010-11 season but that dropped to 6.716 million the following year and will continue at the amount until 2017-18. Then, it will drop to 3.382 million for the following year, 1.1618 in 2019-20, and then the final two years of the contract pay just 1 million a year—that is how they get the cap hit down. Of course, Luongo is almost surely going to retire after the 2017-18 season which will mean six more years in-between the pipes.

Well, considering Luongo’s attitude and his disrespect towards the Canucks, I hope that Mike Gillis holds on to “Lu” and disgraces him for coming out and speaking on radio like he did. Let Lu rot in Vancouver until he learns some humility and understands that he is not the boss of the Canucks. He was extremely fortunate that the Canucks foolishly filled his pockets despite the fact that Lu had never proven himself to be an elite goalie, and yet, Lu is now repaying the organization by not showing any respect to them at all. Luongo should have just kept his mouth shut and let Gillis do his job by trying to work a trade. That way if they can’t do a trade Luongo could have returned to the team with his head held high, but now he cannot. And, if the Canucks decide that they don’t want to trade Luongo for what is being offered in return then that is their right. Rick Nash is another spoiled baby who is making too much money. The worst part about Nash is he is a liar.

For those of you who believe that I am being too tough on Luongo, please continue reading as we examine his career more closely including his endorsements, TV commercials, last year for the BC Lottery Corporation—what a great example (being sarcastic) for children who admire him!

In 2011 after the Canucks lost in the Finals to the Bruins, I indicated that I felt the Canucks should trade Luongo, and not just due to his collapse in the games at the TD Garden but because Luongo is too expensive for what he provides and Schneider was already showing that he was going to be one of the better goalies in the league. Luongo is a good NHL goaltender but he is not one of the elite—and stats and other factors prove that fact (more on that later).  

The Canucks had a golden opportunity to move Luongo last summer because the Flyers wanted a goalie and were willing to empty the bank to get one—signing free agent Bryzgalov to a nine-year contract worth 51 million! Bryzgalov had totally choked in the playoffs before the signing, as a Coyote, losing four straight to the Red Wings. This year we saw his brutal performance in the series against the Penguins, and it was hard to believe that Fleury’s play was so abominable that Bryzgalov was not exposed by the media as much as he should have been. Fleury might have provided the worst all-time playoff performance by a goalie and was benched. Anyway, the Canucks could have easily unloaded Luongo and his salary to the Flyers and would have received a player and one or two draft picks in return; but, the Canuck organization was too proud to admit error in signing Luongo to an enormous contract worth 64 million—and they still are too proud. By the way, I would much prefer Luongo over Bryzgalov since Luongo is far better in the playoffs. I predict that the Flyers will not win the Stanley Cup any time soon because you can’t win it without stellar goaltending—not in today’s league.

In January of 2012, I wrote an article entitled:  “Canucks—The Luongo Question?” and in February another entitled: “Canucks—Schneider, Luongo and the Red Wings.” In these articles I discussed the issues that I have with Luongo including his stats, his contract, problems with his game, the slighting of his teammates, and the better play of Cory Schneider. My articles were not designed to simply attack Luongo, but they were more geared to wake-up the many fans who have been deceived by the media into believing that he is one of the top goalies in the league, and, I also wrote the article to expose the Canuck organization’s mistake in offering Luongo a ridiculously high contract that he definitely had not earned. After signing Luongo to the big deal, the Canuck organization has continued to sell him to the fans and has not benched him when he should have been sitting. Coach Alain Vigneault played Luongo in Boston in Game 6 of the Finals when he knew full well that Schneider was the guy he should have played—but the organization was paying Luongo so much money that they felt that they had to play him no matter what. This year when the teams met in Boston in the regular season, Vigneault played Schneider and the Canucks won the game. I believe that Vigneault was hoping for a loss so that he could feel justified about his wrong decision in the Finals last year and so he could sleep better at night—but that did not happen.

By the way, in the April 8, 2012 edition of HNIC’s “After Hours” (just before the playoffs), Vigneault was the guest and he said that people blame Luongo for everything and he went forth to state that some fans have blamed Luongo for the teacher’s strike, the bad weather, and also for high gas prices. Oh, Alain, give us a bloody break and be a man and stop excusing yourself and pointing your finger at some of the fans. People, Alain knows full well that he played Luongo just because he was the highest paid goalie and not the best goalie in the particular situation. If you want to win the Stanley Cup you have to go with the player who is going to do best considering the circumstances and that obviously was not Luongo since he could not gather himself mentally in the TD Garden in Boston.

One person, after reading “The Luongo Question,” attempted to defend Luongo by pretending that I was not examining his total game. I directed this individual to parts in my article that proved that I was examining everything and not just stats. I told this person that Luongo has had a major problem in dropping his stick pretty much every game and sometimes two and three times a game (as any Canuck fan knows), that he has frequently dropped to his knees for no reason and left the upper part of the net wide-open, that he has at times not taken responsibility for his own poor play and has subsequently laid the blame on his teammates (publicly in interviews), and that he was promoting online poker for the BC Lottery Corporation (TV commercials) despite knowing that many children admire and follow him. Additionally, all elite goalies have excellent stats (at the very least in Save Percentage and shutouts) and you cannot be classified as an elite goalie if your Save Percentage is not great.

From “The Luongo Question?” I quote:

In the 2009-2010 season Luongo did not play that well all things considered. His Goals Against Average (GAA) was high at 2.57 and his Save Percentage was not overly impressive at .913. In fact about 15 starting goalies had a better Save Percentage! Luongo registered just 4 shutouts and there were 12 goalies in the league who posted more than him, and 6 others who tied him at 4. This entirely average season for a goalie in the NHL somehow convinced the Vancouver Canucks that he was more valuable than a chest full of gold and diamonds because they decided to bestow upon him a long-term contract that would make him the second highest paid player in the league! In 2010-2011 he was paid 10 million dollars! Sinking that much money into an average player is not only tough on the organization but also on the other players.

TJ Stanley