Canucks Go Long with Luongo

Maintaining a blog while working long hours at a funded internet startup is difficult; trying to do so with a new baby at home is close to impossible.  You may have noticed (I know some of you have because you’ve made me aware of it) little activity recently on TendersLounge, but today I am obligated to sign back into WordPress.  A surprisingly large number of you have called/emailed/twittered to get my take on the huge deal signed this week between the Vancouver Canucks and their all-world goalie Roberto Luongo.  So after sending out a few emails and tweets I figured it would be better for everyone if I shared my thoughts here.

Roberto Luongo contemplates the prospect of another 13 rainy winters in Vancouver

Roberto Luongo contemplates the prospect of another 13 rainy winters in Vancouver

This is a great deal for:

A) the Canucks

B) Luongo

C) Canucks’ fans

D) the NHL

The obvious answer is A, B and C (and maybe D but probably not).  Luongo lands a once-in-a-lifetime contract and Canuck fans are seeing true commitment from management to bring a meaningful trophy to Stanley Cup-less Vancouver.

But the real answer is E) Canuck GM Mike Gillis.  This is absolutely a brilliant move on the part of Gillis and his staff… a feather in his cap after re-signing the Sedin twins early in the summer and then adding Mathieu Schneider, Christian Ehrhoff and Brad Lukowich to the Canucks’ defense.  Gillis lands one of the top three goalies in the league (arguments as to who is actually #1 can be conducted at your local sports bar) at what is a very good cap hit today and will become better and better as the contract matures.  There is no way Luongo is going to fulfill all twelve years of his contract.  Gillis can argue all he wants about how Dwayne Roloson and Curtis Joseph have played into their 40’s but neither of them were ever of Luongo’s caliber or had this type of contract.

My prediction is Luongo doesn’t fulfill half this contract, let alone the whole thing.  First, it kicks in a year from now so he’s actually contracted to the Canucks for 13 years.  He’ll be 38 entering the second half of this contract.

Second, Luongo stands to be incredibly well-paid over the next five to six seasons with his paycheck shrinking significantly after the eighth year.  He’ll go from being one of the top-paid goalies to ranking alongside the category now occupied by Roloson in Long Island.

Mike Gillis is going to see even more mic's if this summer's spending spree doesn't pan out.

Mike Gillis is going to see even more mic's if this summer's spending spree doesn't pan out.

Third, the Canucks are being built for “right now” with little chance they’ll be competing for a division title, let alone the Cup, four to six years from now.  Detroit is the only team to have shown the ability to remain competitive year after year.  Most teams that have any level of success are like the Ottawa Senators or San Jose Sharks.  It takes a  skillful management and a lot of good luck to pull together a Cup-worthy team and once you do you only get a few shots at it.  Ottawa came close and now needs to rebuild; the Sharks still have another shot.  How many shots will the Canucks have?  Four or five years from now Luongo will still be close to his prime and should still be one of the league’s top goalies with a low cap hit and a contract that would be manageable for a team desperate for a #1 goalie.  Why would the Canucks’ GM of the future hold onto him when he could trade him for a couple prospects and a couple high draft picks?  Why would Luongo not agree to a trade to a contender if he still hasn’t won a Cup with the Canucks by that point?  If the Canucks actually do manage to win a Cup and Luongo wins the Vezina he deserves, why would he even continue the grind of one of the NHL’s worst travel schedules?

I’m happy for Canucks fans and I’m even happier for Luongo.  I’ll be happier still if he carries the Canucks deep into the playoffs or leads Canada to Olypmic glory and gets the naysayers off his back for good.  But I don’t plan on writing about him getting ready for another season in Vancouver when he’s 37, let alone 43.



  1. These are great pics and brought back some fond memeories

  2. Joey MacDonald the Leafs 3rd goalie has a Bunny Laroque painted mask

Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s