The Vancouver Canucks conducted their exit interviews with the media today and, as expected, much of the intrigue surrounded goaltender Roberto Luongo.
After being essentially usurped as the No. 1 goalie — backup Cory Schneider took over with the Canucks down 0-2 in their series to the Kings, and played exceptionally well — many wondered if Luongo would want to stay in Vancouver.
In his final media availability of the season in Vancouver on Tuesday, Luongo told reporters that he would be willing to waive his no-trade clause if general manager Mike Gillis asked him to.
“It’s always been about the team first,” he said. “I prefer to do what’s best for the team. It’s a unique circumstance with a guy [Schneider] who’s going to dominate the league.”
Luongo’s two years into a 12-year, $64 million extension. While the numbers “12” and “64” might cause some GMs to choke on their foie gras (or, in the case of Brian Burke, the bison he killed with his bare hands), the contract isn’t completely immovable.
Given the deal was front-loaded, Vancouver has already paid over $16 million of his salary. Also consider that Luongo’s average annual cap hit is $5.33 million — which, according to Capgeek, is only the eighth-highest among all NHL goalies (well, eighth if you include the $5.63 million Chicago is paying Cristobal Huet to play in Switzerland.)