Even Roberto Luongo thought he was going to be a Maple Leaf.
On Thursday, the Canucks goalie — who will face Toronto on Saturday at Rogers Arena — said he was confident he would be wearing the blue and white.
“I was pretty sure I was going to end up there,” Luongo told the Toronto Sun. “I was pretty shocked and surprised when I didn’t.”
There were two major instances in which Vancouver GM Mike Gillis tried to flip Luongo to Toronto — once at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft (when Brian Burke was at the Maple Leafs’ helm), then again at the ’13 trade deadline (when Dave Nonis was in charge).
Things heated up so much in ’13 that Luongo was actually pulled off the ice during practice to finalize what appeared to be a deal to the Leafs. But that deal fell apart, leading to Luongo’s infamous “my contract sucks” remarks.
This summer, Luongo put his Vancouver penthouse on the market in preparation to be dealt (again) — only to have the rug pulled out (again) when the Canucks flipped Cory Schneider to the Devils, making Bobby Loo the No. 1 goalie (again).
The 33-year-old netminder has been busy since, ranking among the NHL’s leaders in starts (12), shots faced (330) and time on ice (731:19) this season.
He’s pretty happy about the development.
“A lot has happened over the past year and a half, two years,” Luongo said. “To be honest, I’m just excited to be playing again and to play every night.”
The Avalanche will be throwing a bunch of different looks at us this season.
Having already released specialized “Mile High” jerseys for February’s Stadium Series game, the Avs unveiled new third sweaters on Friday — less than 24 hours after a bitter 5-4 home loss to Minnesota in their season opener.
(Guess Colorado wanted to send out some good vibes after blowing a 4-1 third-period lead.)
While undoubtedly exciting for the organization, the release of these new thirds isn’t taking anybody by surprise. Last month, several websites published leaked images of Colorado’s and Anaheim’s third jerseys, so the design has been in the public eye for several weeks.
The Avs will debut these new thirds on Oct. 24, in a Saturday night tilt against Columbus.
Related: Roy explains why he didn’t call time out
Hey, remember in June when the NHLPA voted to keep the five-percent growth factor in spite of increasing worries about escrow?
Well, here’s why that decision was a significant one, via TSN’s Frank Seravalli:
With early revenue projections in place, the NHL and NHLPA set the escrow withholding rate for players at 16 per cent for the first quarter of the season on Thursday.
That means every player will have 16 per cent of earnings deducted from their paycheque and put aside until after all of this season’s hockey-related revenue is counted to ensure a perfect 50-50 revenue split with owners.
Now, this doesn’t mean that the players will definitely lose 16 percent of their salaries. Typically, they receive refunds when all the accounting is done.
Still, 16 percent is a good-sized chunk to withhold. They won’t be thrilled about it.
Related: To understand escrow, consider Duncan Keith