Luongo: “It’s been a great six years, but it’s time to move on”
How quickly can things change in sports?
Well, here’s what Vancouver GM Mike Gillis said less than three years ago after signing his franchise goalie to a 12-year contract extension:
“Today is a very exciting day for the Canucks organization. Roberto Luongo is the leader of our hockey team; he is in the prime of his playing career and has a tremendous desire to make the Canucks a championship team. His leadership, competitiveness and character are what this team will represent for many years to come.”
And here’s what Luongo reportedly said today on Vancouver radio:
“It’s been a great six years, but it’s time to move on.”
If there was any doubt he was on his way out, that should put a stop to it.
So far as potential trading partners, Florida seems to have emerged as the favorite to land Luongo; however, one could easily argue the Maple Leafs and Blue Jackets have more pressing goaltending concerns. Whether he’d waive his no-trade clause to go to Toronto or Columbus isn’t clear though.
But was Luongo’s willingness to say “it’s time to move on” a sign a deal is imminent?
Update: Here’s the full transcript of the interview, and here’s his exact quote when asked if he could be wearing a Canucks jersey next season:
“Never say never, but I think we all know what’s going on, we’ve all seen what’s developed. At the end of the day I think it’s time to move on, and I’m OK with that. I’ve had a great six years in Vancouver and I think it’s a wonderful city. I really enjoyed my time there. Sadly I could never win a Cup there, which is probably my greatest regret, but it was a great six years.”