Has there ever been a summer more filled with stars wanting out of their current organizations than this summer? From Rick Nash in Columbus and Bobby Ryan in Anaheim, no one is happy.
But then there's goaltender Roberto Luongo, who wants out of Vancouver mainly because he's been passed up on the depth chart by Cory Schneider. The saga began last season and continued through this past season's regular season and postseason, and according to Luongo, it has to end.
"We've all seen what's developed. At the end of the day, I think it's time to move on," Luongo said on "The Jeff O'Neil Show" on 993 The Fox in Vancouver. "And I'm OK with that. I had a great six years in Vancouver. It's a really wonderful city. I really enjoyed my time there. Unfortunately, I was not able to bring a Stanley Cup there. Probably my biggest regret. But it'll be remembered for six great years."
Great years it sure was, though like he said, no cup. Since he's moved from Florida to north of the boarder prior to the 2006-07 season, Luongo has gone 224-115-41. He's had two 40-plus win campaigns, including 47 during his first year. He's never won less than 30 games, including 31 of 55 starts this past season. Not bad.
The problem, though, is the years left on his 12-year deal that he signed just last season. According to Cap-Geek, he still has 10 years remaining on a contract with an annual cap-hit of $5.3 million.
Also, Schneider has emerged a bonafide No. 1 netminder in this league. In his first full season in the NHL, he posted a 16-4-2 record with a .929 save percentage and a 2.23 GAA. He bested those numbers last season, going 20-8-1 with a .937 save percentage and a 1.96 GAA. At just 26 years old, he's entering into the prime of his career.
The Canucks signed Schneider to a three-year contract last week, and didn't bother to tell Luongo.
"Nobody called me, but I think that was to be expected," he said. "We've all seen what he's done in Vancouver the last couple of years. He's a tremendous talent."
The next step for the Canucks is to find a dance partner for Luongo, one willing to give up pieces and one willing to take on Luongo for the next decade. The Chicago Blackhawks, Toronto Maple Leafs and Luongo's former team, the Florida Panthers, have all been linked to his services.
"We never really had that discussion," Luongo said when asked if he's limited his trade destinations with Canucks GM Mike Gillis. "Mike kinda threw it out there when we had our meeting at the end of the year and we never really discussed teams. Now he's trying to do this thing." He refused to hint at where he'd like to land.
Obviously the relationship has soured past the point of a return for Luongo, but it's going to be difficult to find a suitor for him, even if a team is in need of a netminder. That contract could be the worst in the league right now, and Gillis should take whatever he can get for Luongo, even if he feels like he's losing out on the deal because eight years from now, he won't be.