Roberto Luongo

Luongo: “It’s been a great six years, but it’s time to move on”


How quickly can things change in sports?

Well, here’s what Vancouver GM Mike Gillis said less than three years ago after signing his franchise goalie to a 12-year contract extension:

“Today is a very exciting day for the Canucks organization. Roberto Luongo is the leader of our hockey team; he is in the prime of his playing career and has a tremendous desire to make the Canucks a championship team. His leadership, competitiveness and character are what this team will represent for many years to come.”

And here’s what Luongo reportedly said today on Vancouver radio:

“It’s been a great six years, but it’s time to move on.”

If there was any doubt he was on his way out, that should put a stop to it.

So far as potential trading partners, Florida seems to have emerged as the favorite to land Luongo; however, one could easily argue the Maple Leafs and Blue Jackets have more pressing goaltending concerns. Whether he’d waive his no-trade clause to go to Toronto or Columbus isn’t clear though.

But was Luongo’s willingness to say “it’s time to move on” a sign a deal is imminent?

Update: Here’s the full transcript of the interview, and here’s his exact quote when asked if he could be wearing a Canucks jersey next season:

“Never say never, but I think we all know what’s going on, we’ve all seen what’s developed. At the end of the day I think it’s time to move on, and I’m OK with that. I’ve had a great six years in Vancouver and I think it’s a wonderful city. I really enjoyed my time there. Sadly I could never win a Cup there, which is probably my greatest regret, but it was a great six years.”



Related: Canucks, Cory Schneider agree to three-year deal

Derek Roy signs in Swiss league

Derek Roy, Jeremy Smith, Chris Kelly
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Derek Roy has finally found work — but it’s not in the NHL.

Roy, who spent the entire preseason in Washington’s camp on a PTO, has signed with SC Bern of Switzerland’s National League A, the club announced on Friday.

The news comes after Roy narrowly missed out on making the Caps roster, and just one year after he had something of a bounce-back campaign in Edmonton, scoring 22 points in 46 games while developing chemistry with young winger Nail Yakupov.

A 12-year NHL veteran, Roy is one of the more prominent names to be squeezed out of work this season, and head overseas. The 31-year-old has scored over 500 points in 738 career contests, and has twice represented Canada at the World Hockey Championships.

With Bern, Roy will play on one of Switzerland’s stronger teams, alongside a trio of ex-NHLers: Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett and Cory Conacher.

Lehner’s injury ‘doesn’t look like it’s short term’

Robin Lehner
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Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.

Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.

When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.

“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”

It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.

While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.