Vancouver Canucks general manager Mike Gillis tells Tony Gallagher of The Vancouver Province that he is not shopping goalie Roberto Luongo.
I haven’t contacted anyone with respect to Roberto at all. I was at the GMs meeting this week and you can ask all 29 other guys whether I talked to them about trading a goalie and they’d tell you ‘no’ because it just hasn’t happened. We haven’t made any decisions at all about the future of our goaltending.
However, that hasn’t stopped rival general managers from calling Gillis and asking about the availability of the veteran goaltender.
I’ve had people call me and ask about him and I’ve told them that we haven’t made any decisions at all about the future of our goaltending. And that’s absolutely the truth.
It has also not stopped rumors of Luongo’s impending departure hit the Internet. A supposed Canucks insider — who has accurately broke previous Canucks trades before any media outlet — tweeted last Wednesday that the Canucks have a deal in place to send their star netminder to the Toronto Maple Leafs before July 1st, if not the Entry Draft on June 22nd.
BREAKING: can confirm Roberto Luongo will be traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Deal will be completed by draft, if not July 1. #Canucks
— Samir Javer (@samjam99) May 31, 2012
A trade with Toronto would make sense since the Maple Leafs need a number one puck stopper, and their senior vice president of hockey operations, Dave Nonis, was the general manager in Vancouver that brought Luongo to the Canucks. So, as Internet rumors go, there could be something to it.
The rumor about what the Canucks would receive in return — Luke Schenn and Toronto’s fifth overall pick — doesn’t appear to hold as much water.
— Samir Javer (@samjam99) June 1, 2012
Obviously, this is in extreme contrast with what Gillis is saying publicly.
Gillis maintains he’s in no rush to make a trade, and that he expects to meet with Luongo sometime this week and discuss the player’s current state of mind before deciding which path to take. The two sides have had but one conversation with Luongo since the end of the Canucks’ season when he said he’d be okay to move out of Vancouver if that’s what the club wanted.
He basically said to me the exact same thing he said to you guys that if it [a trade] was something that would help the team, he’d consider it. But I’d like to get his feelings now that he’s had a little time to think it over. There’s no rush here. There’s no need to get into anything too quickly because that’s when you’re likely to make a mistake.
The general manager said he also plans to meet with his staff — most likely after he finds out if Luongo’s wants out of Vancouver or not — to formulate a plan of action for the off-season.
We’re going to have our pro scouts in over the next seven to 10 days, have our meetings and then we’ll come out of that with a firm plan on how to move ahead.
So is there a chance that Luongo remains a Canuck next season? Gillis tells ESPN that it’s not a given Luongo won’t be back with the team.
Yes, there is [a chance]. I mean it’s a fluid business all the time.