In a telling interview with TSN’s James Duthie, Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo opened up about the rampant trade talk that has surrounded him for more than a year.
In the waning minutes of this year’s trade deadline, Luongo was suddenly pulled off the ice at Canucks practice and taken to general manager Mike Gillis’ office with the possibility of a deal in the works.
However, that potential deal was never completed.
“Ten minutes before the deadline was over, I get yanked off the ice and they were telling me to hurry up and (I) needed to get to Mike’s office,” Luongo told Duthie in part of an interview that aired on TSN’s SportsCentre on Friday afternoon.
In order for a deal to take place, Luongo would’ve had to waive his no-trade clause. He said he was handed a waiver form as he entered Gillis’ office.
“It became real at that point that this was probably it,” said Luongo.
“As soon as I sat down in Mike’s office, he walked in and just told me that the deal fell through and there was no trade.”
Luongo admitted to getting emotional, which was evident when he held court with reporters shortly after practice and the deadline has passed.
“Not because I was angry or whatnot, but I just of the range of emotion and leading up to that day and (in that) last hour or two and thinking that you were traded one second and all of the sudden realizing that you’re not,” he said.
“I think it just got to me for a second there and I might’ve cried in front of another man.”
Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.
The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.
According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”
Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:
The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.
Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.
In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two:
Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?
While lineups are obviously subject to change, CSNPhilly.com notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.
Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.
That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench.
“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”
The CSNPhilly.com quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.
Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.
It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.