Yesterday, Laurence Gilman went on the team1040 and surprisingly, was very open about the Canucks mindset of being "all in" on going for the Stanley Cup this year. In a city with a rabid fanbase, expectations for something significant happening today went through the roof. So what did they do? Nothing. And now, most Canucks fans are legitimately pissed off.
I've been a Mike Gillis fan until recently. His handling of the Roberto Luongo situation has been embarrassing and he has been laughed at by fans and media from around the continent. Luongo is obviously a very good goalie, one of the top 10 in the league. With that being said, it shouldn't have taken long for Gillis to realize he was not going to get anywhere near equal value in return for him. So instead of sucking it up and moving Luongo for whatever he could, the stubborn Gillis kept Luongo and his 5.3 cap hit. That 5.3 cap hit will likely be sitting on the bench, wearing a baseball cap come playoff time. Cap space not well utilized, to say the least. For an aging core group whose window is closing as we speak, it is unacceptable.
Luongo was pulled off the ice about 10 minutes prior to the deadline. Speculation hit a peak on twitter with regards to him being moved but of course, nothing happened. Apparently, as Luongo stated in his presser, they were just preparing him and getting the clearance from him on a possible trade. You would've thought this kinda thing would've been sorted out well before hand but who am I to say? Some in the twitterverse, believe this was bush by the Canucks.
Luongo gave one of the all-time great press conferences. It's so rare to hear a pro athlete show so much raw emotion and honesty. "My contract sucks" and "I'd scrap it right now if I could" were the two huge admissions coming from Roberto. That tells you all you need to know with regards to how badly Luongo wants out. He turns 34 years old tomorrow. That's not young for an NHL goalie. He likely has 3 or 4 more years left as a premier goaltender. He will be spending the rest of this season as a backup, barring an injury to Schneider.
I was highly critical of Luongo in the past but he has totally won me over with self-deprecating nature on twitter. The guy is the funniest athlete on twitter, if you ask me. I was strong in my belief that Schneider was the future of the Canucks in net but I've definitely changed my tune on that. You can get a lot more for Schneider. Luongo's window as a great goalie is in sync with the team's overall window. Eddie Lack can learn under Luongo. It just makes more sense. Luongo's cap hit is high but it's not outrageous. The issue is how damage has been done to what's left of the relationship between the player and management.
What bothered me almost as much as Stay Still Gill (credit to Jason Botchford for that nickname) doing nothing today was his predictable bullshit in his press conference. All I hear from this guy and his beloved head coach is EXCUSES. If I had a dollar for every time these guys have mentioned it being a short season, I'd be a multi-millionaire. And prices were high? Really? Every year prices are high, or so we're told. Hey Mike Gillis, I suggest you should be in "win now" mode or you won't have much of a future to worry about in Vancouver. I also despised Gillis poo-pooing Luongo's comments about scrapping his contract if he could. Maybe it's true, maybe it's not but if I'm Roberto Luongo, that doesn't rub me the right way. The fact is Michael D Gillis signed Luongo to that contract and he has claimed through this whole process that the ridiculous length of that contract has not been a hindrance in making a move. I'm just a stupid fan and obviously not privy to the wheelings and dealings but there is no way Michael D Gillis can pass a lie detector test with that comment.
Darren Dreger tweeted about 90 minutes before the deadline:
"The Canucks are involved in at least 4 trade discussions ranging from Luongo potential to depth players. Now waiting."What happened to these discussions? Price was too high on all of them? Gillis said in his presser "We tried hard". Obviously not hard enough.
Hard to imagine the Canucks getting past the second round, even with a healthy Kesler and Derek Roy. If they come up short of getting to a Stanley Cup Finals, this has to be the summer that Vigneault is relieved of his duties. And if it's a one and done, maybe the future of Mike Gillis is in jeopardy.
I made the moronic comment of saying I wouldn't tweet if the Canucks didn't make a deal today. So as tough as that will be for me, I'll do it.