Update: Luongo has indeed been traded. We were right about everything. This almost never happens, so forgive us for gloating.
Considering what went down at the Heritage Classic, with the spotlight suddenly falling back on Roberto Luongo and his frayed relationship with this Canucks team, one would have been forgiven for thinking the goaltender had reached his breaking point — that he was about to go dark.
The fact that he wore a black tuque didn’t help anything at all. Was he in mourning? Was this the first sign of a full-on transformation into dark period Luongo, the birth of Roberto Luongoth?
Apparently not. He refused to speak on Sunday, but on Monday, Luongo seemed to have found the bright side of not playing in the Heritage Classic: there were no netcam shots of his backside in those cream-coloured pants.
Unfortunately, Eddie Lack wasn’t so lucky:
— Strombone (@strombone1) March 4, 2014
Lack was a good sport about it, even making reference to the rough reception and ride he received from the BC Place crowd:
— Eddie Lack (@eddielack) March 4, 2014
Silly as this exchange was, it was meaningful, especially for the fans, who may not know quite what they want out of this team anymore — since it appears wins are out of the questions — but know what they don’t want: another goalie controversy. Watching Lack and Luongo joke about the whole thing was a bit of a relief, especially since these two look to be sharing the crease for the foreseeable future.
That is, unless Luongo moves at the deadline.
When Lack’s third straight start was announced, we spitballed that, perhaps, it had something to do with the Canucks working on a long-overdue Luongo trade. Bob McKenzie shot the idea down pretty quickly, and with Luongo slated to start Tuesday night against the Phoenix Coyotes, that sort of puts the pin to that balloon.
But wouldn’t you know it — apparently his name is back in play:
Ryan Kesler trade talks definitely continuing but told talks regarding Roberto Luongo heating up and Capitals could be involved.
— Jimmy Murphy (@MurphysLaw74) March 4, 2014
Jimmy Murphy’s no McKenzie, but he’s not a shyster either.
And Elliotte Friedman made a great point in regards to the Luongo situation in his latest edition of 30 thoughts.
“There’s no evidence the Canucks have tried once again to see if there is any kind of market for Luongo’s services,” he said, but added, “Now that so much of last year’s emotion is gone, would it be any easier to put something together?
Short answer: yes. The Canucks were watched so closely during last year’s trade talks. There was so much leaked information and misinformation. It’s tough to sign off on a trade when everyone is too busy twirling their moustaches to pick up a pen. And between that and the new CBA, it had to be difficult to put anything together.
This time around, however, the focus isn’t on Luongo at all. It’s on Kesler. I’m not saying the whole thing has been a false flag operation, but the Canucks have an opportunity here to fly somewhat under the radar with Luongo, which is amazing, all things considered. And with every GM in the league calling Gillis about Kesler, one has to imagine he’s done his due diligence in trying to steer the occasional conversation towards his problem goalie.
Obviously, Kesler is the prize jewel here, but he might not be the only big name the Canucks move tomorrow. Might Tuesday be Roberto Luongo’s last start as a Canuck?