Training camp opened yesterday, and Roberto Luongo is still a Vancouver Canuck. Canucks GM Mike Gillis said that there have been “lots of discussions” regarding a possible Luongo trade.
“There’s been a lot more interest in Roberto than people wanted to recognize because (they thought) the contract was onerous or difficult,” Gillis said. “That has never been mentioned to me by one team. I know some people like to make a big deal of that but it’s a very friendly contract for a lot of reasons.
“That’s one of the reasons why in the new collective agreement there are penalties and you can’t sign these types of contracts because they are favourable. So contract is not an issue.”
The 33 year old Luongo signed a 12 year, $64 million contract in 2010. There are 10 years and $47.284 million remaining on the deal that carries a $5.333 million salary cap hit. Teams are now able to retain part of players salary and cap hit if they are traded.
“I haven’t talked to anyone about keeping a portion of his contract. Is that off the table? No, I mean everything is on the table when you talk about those things. There are concepts you can discuss. But Roberto is an all-star goaltender and I don’t feel compelled or see any reason why we would go down that path with a player of this calibre.”
The Maple Leafs are one team that has been rumored to have interest in Luongo. James Reimer struggled last season, and currently the backup job belongs to rookie Ben Scrivens. New GM Dave Nonis on the teams goaltending situation.
“No. We don’t need to make a move. No. We don’t. The one thing — you hear the buzz over the last 48 hours — is that there is going to be a change in goal. There’s only going to be a change in goal if we can upgrade at that position without severely hampering the ability to play in front of that goaltender, and without taking away very good young players from our reserve list. If we can add a veteran, if we can add a goaltender to help these guys along, we think that would be helpful. But if we can’t, then it’s up to our whole group to play in front of them and to put wins on the board.”
With Nonis being the Leafs assistant GM before taking over as GM late last week, he’s familiar with where the talks were going between the two teams. Nonis was responsible for bringing Luongo to Vancouver, now can he do the same for the Maple Leafs?