Even the editorial section is piling on Roberto Luongo

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As documented right here on Pro Hockey Talk, it’s been a rough week for Vancouver Canucks netminder Roberto Luongo. It began on Tuesday night, when Bobby Loo got the ol’ Bronx cheer after allowing four goals to the Rangers.

That was bad, but Luongo’s response made it worse. He told reporters the Bronx cheer was no big deal.

Why no big deal?

“It has happened so many times, I’ve gotten used to it,” he said.

And just when it seemed the situation couldn’t get any worse…it got worse. Yesterday, the Vancouver Province — a daily tabloid that once featured a very handsome Canucks blog — ran a scathing review of Luongo and suggested he be traded to Tampa Bay in exchange for Vincent Lecavalier.

Normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal, as the Province sports section has been known to break out the torches and pitchforks on occasion.

But this article didn’t run in the sports section.

It was an editorial.

Patience has clearly run out, especially with backup Cory Schneider appearing to be the better player.

Many people say the Canucks made a huge mistake in signing Lou to a 12-year, $64-million no-trade contract in 2009 because it makes parting with him impossible. So here’s our solution.

Trade Luongo straight up for Vincent Lecavalier of the Tampa Bay Lightning, who has a similar, $85-million, 11-year no-trade deal. With Steve Stamkos in Tampa, Lecavalier is no longer top dog and could use a fresh start as much as Lou.

Tampa needs better goaltending; we need a power forward. Lou’s wife could finally be closer to her family, and Lecavalier could play hockey again in a city that actually cares about his sport.

It’s a win-win-win-win (Lou, Vince, Cory, fans) solution.

Traditionally, newspaper editorials are reserved for opinion pieces on politics, pertinent social matters, letters and hot-button issues. Then there’s Vancouver, where they use it to debate who the starting hockey goalie should be.

Unsurprisingly, the Province’s Editor-in-Chief, Wayne Moriarty, caught some heat for running this piece. Today he took to Twitter to defend it:

source:

And herein lies the problem with playing sports in Vancouver. It’s a bare market. There’s not much else to distract the natives — there’s no baseball, there’s no football (well, there’s Canadian football), the Grizzlies left for Memphis years ago and the soccer team plays soccer.

Plus, Vancouver doesn’t have much experience with polarizing sports figures. The most contentious athletes in Vancouver history are Luongo, Todd Bertuzzi, Pavel Bure and…that’s it. Some would throw Mark Messier in the mix, but he only played in Vancouver for three seasons (and left over 10 years ago).

Compare that with Philadelphia. In the last two years alone, its sports teams have acquired Michael Vick, Allen Iverson, Pedro Martinez, Chris Pronger, Vince Young and Jaromir Jagr. Repeat: all those guys have been acquired over the last two years.

Now there’s a city that knows controversial athletes.

Blackhawks’ Boris Katchouk sidelined by ankle sprain

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CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced.

The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.

The Blackhawks open the season on Oct. 12 at Colorado.

The team also said forward Jujhar Khaira is day to day with a right ankle injury.

Ducks’ Urho Vaakanainen crashes into boards, leaves on stretcher

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.

The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.

The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.

Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.

The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.

Lightning donate $2 million to Hurricane Ian relief efforts

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TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning and team owner Jeff Vinik are donating $2 million toward Hurricane Ian relief efforts.

The NHL team announced that $1 million each will be donated by the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the Vinik Family Foundation.

“This is a tragic situation for many families and communities across the state of Florida, but especially so in the southwest region of the state,” Vinik said in a statement released by the team. “In times like these the most important thing we can do is support one another, and we hope this donation will help families recover and rebuild in the months to come.”

Ian made landfall Wednesday on Florida’s Gulf Coast, south of the Tampa Bay area. The Lightning postponed two home preseason games and moved the club’s training camp to Nashville, Tennessee, during the storm.

Maple Leafs sign defenseman Rasmus Sandin to 2-year deal

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TORONTO — Rasmus Sandin has signed a two-year, $2.8 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the club announced on Thursday.

The 22-year-old from Sweden was the 29th overall selection in the 2018 draft. Sandin had 16 points in 51 games with Toronto last season. He’s played in 88 career regular-season games, with six goals and 22 assists, and has one goal in five playoff games.

“Got a great set of tools,” fellow defenseman Jake Muzzin said. “With experience, I think they’re only going to get better.”

The signing comes as the Leafs’ blueliners been hit hard by injuries. Muzzin has been dealing with a back issue, and Timothy Liljegren recently had surgery for a hernia.

Toronto then lost Jamie Benn (groin) and Carl Dahlstrom (shoulder) in Wednesday’s 3-0 preseason victory over the Montreal Canadiens, pressing forwards Calle Jarnkrok and Alexander Kerfoot into defensive roles for two periods.