Brian Elliott

Canucks admit keeping Luongo ‘not the most efficient use of resources’


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.

Sabres place Lehner on IR; Recall Lieuwen

Connor Brown, Robin Lehner
Leave a comment

They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.

The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.

In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.

Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.

The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.



Chara ‘doubtful’ for game against rival Canadiens

Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara
Leave a comment

It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.

Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.

Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.

“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”

Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: