Vancouver Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault let the cat out of the bag on French language TV: Goalie Roberto Luongo does indeed want a trade out of Vancouver.
Speaking over the telephone to a Montreal-based TVA Sports show called Le Match, Vigneault was asked if he agreed that Luongo needed a fresh start. (Vigneault was on the show Wednesday night to discuss his contract extension.)
“First of all, that is what he wants right now,” Vigneault said in the translated quote. “What we need to do is what’s best for our organization and our team. We have to look at what’s best for our organization and Roberto.”
Luongo, 33, lost his starting job to Cory Schneider during the playoffs and told reporters in his exit interviews April 24 that he would waive his no-trade clause if that is what best suited the club.
“Yeah, of course, if they ask me to,” Luongo said. “I don’t want to be one of those guys who is going to stand in the way of anything. I always want to put the team ahead of me. I don’t want to be one of those selfish guys.
“Obviously they have a guy here who is going to be a superstar in this league for the next 10, 12, 15 years so I’m okay with it. It is a business and that’s the way it goes. I’ve loved being here the last six years. If I’m here in the future, then great. If I’m not, that’s good also.”
Vigneault’s comment seems to indicate that Luongo has decided being in Vancouver in the future isn’t so great after all. Luongo still has 10 years and roughly $47 million remaining on his lengthy contract.
Meanwhile in Tampa, Lightning GM Steve Yzerman went on radio there Thursday and implied he wasn’t interested in acquiring Luongo even though he is desperate for a quality No. 1 netminder.
“My philosophy is that I’m trying to find that Hall of Fame goaltender,” Yzerman said. “But good luck trying to do that. It takes time. We’ll find that guy through the draft or unrestricted free agency. That guy isn’t there at this time. Obviously I’d love to have a 20-year-old [version] of Martin Brodeur and not worry about goaltending for the next 20 years. But that’s hard to do.”