Earlier this week Roberto Luongo decided to change up his agents. Gone, was Gilles Lupien, who represented Luongo for 19 years. Pat Brisson and J.P. Barry were brought in for a fresh look and view.
Luongo has been through a lot in the last couple years in Vancouver. The Canucks tried to trade Luongo for well over a year, receiving Luongo’s blessing to do so, though restricted by his no-trade clause. Then at the draft, the Canucks shocked many by trading Cory Schneider, making Luongo the No. 1 goalie again.
Lupien was responsible for Luongo his 12-year, $64 million contract. A deal that will pay him until after the 2021-22 season. Many say Luongo’s contract was the reason why they were not able to trade him, Lupien thinks differently.
“Every team knows your contract,” Lupien told Luongo. “It’s not your contract that’s the problem – it’s what they’re asking for.”
With nine years left on his contract and $40.5 million, Luongo moved to CAA Sports.
“I was shocked,” Lupien says. “But I understood, too.
“He said, ‘Gilles, I want to take a new path – what do you think?’ Maybe another guy they’d listen.”
“How can I be mad?” Lupien says. “I really do understand. Roberto has a lot of guts. He was telling me ‘I need a new message. I need new hope.’”
Lupien wasn’t happy with the way the Canucks treated Luongo.
“I played on a team [Montreal] with nine Hockey Hall of Famers,” he says. “I’ve never seen a star treated like that. I think personally he’s been treated like a piece of paper, a fourth-line player.”
Everyone seemed to turn on Luongo, the organization, the media and the fans.
“I’m in net,” Lupien says of the goaltender he considers almost a son. “There’s a guy at the red line with the puck and the fans start to boo me. The people aren’t behind you. The newspapers aren’t behind you. But you have to stop the puck.
“It’s not like a forward who can pass the puck when people start to boo. It’s not like a fourth liner who only gets out every once in a while. You have to stop every puck or else.”
“It’s almost impossible for him to perform under those circumstances.”
The possibility of a trade out of Vancouver was talked about for over a year.
“It’s okay to say you’re going to trade someone,” he says, “ but then trade him. If I want to sell my car, and I want to get a good price for it, I don’t say my car is always in the garage. There’s something wrong with it. No one will want to buy it. You either say your car is the best car you ever had – or you say nothing.”
Now that Schneider is gone and Luongo is back to be the No. 1 guy, it will be interesting to see how the media and fans react when things don’t for right him.
Luongo has had some fun on twitter over the last year, dropping some hilarious tweets about the situation. He was back at it yesterday, this time targeting his backup, Eddie Lack.
Hey @eddielack I’m warning you now! Don’t get any ideas this upcoming season!!! Got it???
— Strombone (@strombone1) July 25, 2013