Earlier this week, Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said he expects goalie Corey Crawford to bounce back from a sophomore slump.
Still, a few eyebrows were raised Friday when Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman refused to comment when asked if there was interest in acquiring Roberto Luongo from Vancouver.
“I can’t really talk about players who are under contract to other teams,” Bowman said.
Fair enough, we suppose.
Of course, if he didn’t have interest it would be easy enough to say so.
Maybe he’s just a stickler for the NHL’s tampering rules.
The Blackhawks did admit they reached out to Martin Brodeur’s camp when the Devils’ goalie briefly explored free agency.
Granted, that was a no-brainer. Brodeur wouldn’t have come with a contract that runs through 2021-22. Nor would he have come with a reputation for melting down in the playoffs. Not to mention, some of Luongo’s most famous meltdowns came at the United Center (soundtrack by The Fratellis).
Brodeur would, however, have come with three Stanley Cup rings. And signing him wouldn’t have meant giving up on Crawford.
Yet it’s interesting that the Luongo-to-Chicago chatter has never officially been put to bed by the Blackhawks. And when you think about it, if Bowman had zero interest, wouldn’t he be smart to come out and say so in order to drive Luongo’s price down and hurt a conference rival?
Of note, Luongo’s said he’d be open to joining the ‘Hawks.
“I think there’s a lot of cities that are great to play in, and Chicago’s definitely one of them,” he said recently on Vancouver radio. “But you have to realize that it works both ways. There’s not only me involved in this decisions. It’s also a question if the Blackhawks would be interested, if the team would be interested in trading me there and if I wanted to go there.”
It’s still hard, verging on impossible, to picture Luongo in a Blackhawks jersey.
But what a story it would be.