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.

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2008 Has Been Year of the “Backup”

Marc-Andre Fleury returned to the Pittsburgh net tonight for the first time since injuring his groin a month ago, just one of many highly-paid #1 goalies who have missed significant playing time this season therefore thrusting his respective backup into a starting (and sometimes “starring”) role.  What’s significant about that?  Well for starters, never before has there been such a huge disparity between the salaries of A-level goalies vs. everyone else.   Until this past week Danny Saborin has kept the Penguins in each of their games compiling a 6-6-1 record with a .911 SV%.  Are those the numbers of a number one?  Not really, but the Pens have remained within striking distance of the Rangers and Flyers which is exactly what teams should expect from backups, i.e. give them a chance to win when the number one is out.  For 1/10th the cost ($512k vs. $5M for Fleury) Saborin did his job.  Here’s a look at some of the other backups finding themselves with a chance to play in the limelight this seaon.

Tim Thomas shooting for the number one position.

Tim Thomas shooting for the number one position.

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Guy Kawasaki’s Photos from NHL Office in NY

I stole this from Guy Kawasaki’s blog, Holy Kaw.  He was in the NHL’s NY office last week (seriously, Guy gets to go everywhere) and photojournalled his visit.  I’m pretty sure none of these are replicas of game-worn masks but I love that the guy in this office has masks from the Whalers and Jets as well as the ‘Flying Skate’ days of the Canucks.  Where do I sign up for a job that has goalie shwag decorating my office and a view of Times Square??!!

Who Says Goalies Can’t “Wear” the C?

Notice anything new about Luongo’s mask?  Like the “C” on his chin… only a few inches away from wear a captain would typically wear it on his jersey?  Where there’s a will there’s a way to solve any problem (or break any rule).

All Hail Captain Luongo!

Wow!  Today the Canucks announced that Roberto Luongo will serve as their team captain!  I’ve always thought goalies were not allowed to be captain but it turns out they’re just not allowed to wear the “C” on their jersey.  So the Canucks will have alternates who can talk to the referees on the ice but ‘Captain Canuck’ will now officially be Captain Canuck.  The first role of captain is to lead a band of brothers for nine months out of the year and when you think of the great captains in hockey history can you really think of anyone on the Canucks better suited to this role?  I’m not sure there’s any team in the NHL who relies more on one player than the Canucks do on Luongo.  So congrats to Luongo for breaking new ice with this role and kudos to Canucks’ management for thinking outside the box in putting him there.

Goodbye or Au Revoir to Emery and Cloutier?

Surprising absolutely no one in the hockey world, Ray Emery and Dan Cloutier were placed on waivers today by the Ottawa Senators and LA Kings, respectively.  If the goalies are not picked up then each team can buyout the remainder of their contracts, making them unrestricted free agents.

Sens GM Bryan Murray was generous in disminssing Emery by saying that one day he will get his game turned around and be a good goalie for someone.  Generous, but still a final slap to Emery after a very unsuccesful and turmoil-filled year for Emery, or as he put it himself “the worst year I’ve had – on and off the ice – it just wasn’t enjoyable at all. I learned a lot of things but that’s about it – not too many positives.”  Continue reading