At noon Pacific Standard Time, the trade deadline passed and Roberto Luongo was still a Canuck.
In what was an emotional press conference Luongo went on to say things like "my contract sucks", that he would scrap his contract if he could and acknowledged that it's probably the biggest impediment in moving the veteran netminder.
You can see that presser here.
The cliches were gone. The dry rhetoric and forced professionalism that he has carried throughout this entire process turned to an emotional, candid and honest approach seemingly in the blink of an eye. Gone were the "it is what it is"' and the "play it day by days" we had all grown accustomed to.
Instead we saw a visibly upset Luongo let us know where he's at. How he feels about the situation. Much has been made of the comical, cynical, and sarcastic side of Luongo that he's made readily available with his twitter account @strombone1 - that he to this day sort of denies is his. It's been a while though since we saw this side of Luongo. As a matter of fact I think the last time we saw this guy, or something like him, was...
Be it in that video following the Canucks first early playoff exit at the hands of their dreaded rivals the Chicago Blackhawks, or nearly five years later this guy just can't catch a break. His once hailed as team friendly contract is now the apparent albatross around him and this teams neck, that prevents him from finding a starting job elsewhere after losing his here to Cory.
As hard as Gillis tried, he just couldn't convince the Leafs to put this contract on their books. At one point he even lowered his demands to Ben Scrivens and a pair of second round draft picks. Please, tell me on what planet an elite goaltender with a cap hit of $5.3M isn't worth that... and then some. And that was just the last in a series of lowered demands by Gillis to convince Nonis to trade for Luongo. I don't know if Dave Nonis is still bitter about being replaced by Gillis or what, but seems to me like he was just being a real tease.
The sad part is, in a world filled with inequities, something seems particularly unfair about this. There shouldn't be nearly this much difficulty in moving an elite goalie, no matter what the contract. The fact that Luongo's is back diving and has a ridiculously low cap hit makes it all the worse. I know I'm probably preaching to the choir on this one, but could this happen to a nicer guy? For all the crap he's put up with in this city, he's taken it all in stride. As much as I couldn't, he found a way to be understanding of the heaps of criticism unfairly directed at him. When he lost his starting job to Cory Schneider in last year's playoffs, not due to performance, but to shake up the team, he was the consummate professional and supported Cory the entire time. I'm getting a little tired of saying this, but until I see something that proves otherwise, I'll remain convinced the good guys never come out on top. Count Roberto Luongo among them.
You can follow the We've Got Twins blog: @WeveGotTwins and find more Canucks info and analysis at We've Got Twins.