Sunday, January 20, 2013
Luongo's value to Vancouver
By Luke Lapinski
It certainly makes sense why the Vancouver Canucks would want to deal Roberto Luongo. They're a legitimate Stanley Cup contender right now, already have Cory Schneider in place as their chosen No. 1 netminder and could likely get a decent haul in return. What's more, they can't feel great about having over $9 million tied up between the pipes -- $5.3 million of which is going to the backup. That's why possible trades were explored throughout the offseason -- and why one could certainly still happen.
Luongo could still prove quite useful to Alain Vigneault's group this season though -- a point that was driven home last night. Schneider struggled mightily in the opener against Anaheim, allowing five goals on just 14 shots. And if the past few seasons have shown us anything, it's that fans in Vancouver seem to find confidence in the backup goalie whenever the starter struggles. For Schneider, it was just one bad game. But the Edmonton Oilers bring a potentially high-powered attack to town tonight. And the Ducks loom on the schedule again this week. If Schneider continues to struggle for a prolonged period, things could get interesting -- especially in a shortened season with so little margin for error.
More than likely, however, it was just one rough outing for a very good netminder who is more than capable of bouncing back in a hurry. That still doesn't mean Luongo has no value though. Because of the condensed schedule, clubs around the league will likely have to be a little more reliant on their backup goalies than usual. So when the schedule gets tough and the Canucks are playing multiple games in fewer nights, it will be nice to have an established 33-year old with 339 wins and 60 shutouts on his resume to lean on.