If anything, you have to admire Mike Gillis’s patience.
Well, unless Gillis isn’t so much patient as delusional. In which case you don’t have to admire it as much.
Whatever you call it, Gillis still hasn’t traded Roberto Luongo. And with the deadline a matter of days away, it appears Vancouver may have a $64 million backup goalie for the playoffs.
All along, the Canucks have insisted they won’t be giving away Luongo for anything less than a significant return. This despite the 33-year-old’s big contract and the opinion of many that he’s no longer worth said contract.
Per the Vancouver Sun, the club’s thinking doesn’t seem to have changed, even as things have dragged on far longer than anticipated.
“From an efficiency standpoint, to have $9.33 million invested in two goaltenders when only one of them can play is clearly not the most efficient use of resources,” assistant GM Laurence Gilman said. “That being said … Roberto is still in the prime of his career and can stabilize a NHL team for years to come. That’s an asset that’s extremely hard to come by. It would be foolish for us to trade Roberto for a rental player.”
On the other hand, the Canucks will be the first to admit they’re in “go for it” mode. The Sedin twins are 32 and the organization isn’t exactly stocked with can’t-miss prospects.
What’s more, for teams searching for goaltending help, there are alternatives that don’t come with the financial risk that Luongo does.
Gilman is absolutely right when he says, “Goaltending is a bellwether position in the National Hockey League. You can’t win without it. It’s like pitching in baseball.”
Unfortunately for the Canucks, Luongo’s recent performance (after a hot start) can’t be helping the club’s trade pitch. He’ll be on the bench again tonight as Cory Schneider makes his sixth straight start.
It’s something Luongo may have to get used to.
Sitting on the bench.