What’s the difference between Roberto Luongo and Pavel Bure? One is bound for the rafters and the other is just bound. (Heyo! It may be the offseason, but I’ve still got it.)
On Tuesday, the Canucks held their 2013 Summer Summit — a season ticket holder event so prestigious and special it happens in July — and for two hours Mike Gillis, John Tortorella, Victor de Bonis and Bill Daly (the Metropolitan Division of this foursome, clearly) fielded questions from those in attendance.
Suffice it to say, the club’s ongoing relationship with Roberto Luongo was something people wanted to hear about.
Back in the spring, when the Canucks were swept out of the playoffs, Mike Gillis said that the team would be getting a reset. As it turned out, that reset has been mostly limited to the relationship between the Canucks and Luongo. After their six-year marriage nearly ended in divorce, from the sounds of it, they’re back to dating.
“The conversation was fine and good,” Gillis told the crowd of his much-hyped meeting with Luongo in Florida. “It was fun and amiable and it wasn’t stressful or anything. We talked about the team. We talked about the coaching change and pretty much everything we could talk about. I told him how I felt about him and how we felt about him as an organization.”
Quality first date. Sounds like something you’d hear on an episode of Love Connection. Although not as good an episode as this one:
Anyway, from the sounds of it, Gillis didn’t make a move, but you’ve gotta take things slow with Luongo. He’s Catholic.
That’s about as far as the update on this situation went. It wasn’t substantial at all, and The Province didn’t undersell anything when they titled Ben Kuzma’s article on the Summit:
Fine and good? If anything, they oversold it.
But really, all anybody wanted to hear that was Luongo answered the door and didn’t throw plates. Consider the exchange when Barry MacDonald first broached the subject:
B-Mac: “How’s Roberto doing?”
Gillis: “Roberto’s great.”
I suspect the audience was partially sedated. (I think Gillis suspected the same. Find that moment in the video below — it’s at 1:02:57 — and watch his body language. He’s like, really?)
There was a little more, of course.
“We, ironically, spent about half the conversation going through his Twitter account because he thinks he’s so witty and funny that it brings out the best in him,” Gillis said. (I think that was a joke, but it also wouldn’t surprise me if it wasn’t.)
“We had a really good conversation,” Gillis continued, before launching into the sort of short soliloquy that only flies at an event where the media’s not asking follow-up questions. “What happened could have been the result all the way through. It wasn’t reported that way but it could have been. At the end of the day we had to make a choice and we made the choice to go with Roberto.”
Sure, but I think we know that the choice was necessitated by circumstances, and “it could have been the result all the way through” is like saying “these things happen” after your car gets stolen.
With no one pointing that out, however, Gillis moved along, closing with his impressions about where Luongo’s head is at and what it means for the future.
“I was comfortable there,” he said. “We have a really good relationship so we were laughing for most of it. It wasn’t strained or adversarial at all. Far from it. It was the opposite. I still think Roberto’s working his way through everything that occurred and what happened. I think he’s gonna be fine. I think he’s a consummate professional. I think he’ll be the starting goalie for Canada’s Olympic team and he’ll be our starting goalie and I feel very optimistic about it.”
Another round of applause. It was an easy crowd. We should try to get these people out to the games.
Before the gas wore off, the Canucks quickly changed the subject by announcing that Pavel Bure’s jersey will finally be going to the rafters, as expected. We’ll have more on that when the formal announcement comes.