|Roberto Luongo says his time is up with the Canucks. (Getty Images)|
By now it's a foregone conclusion that Roberto Luongo is leaving the Vancouver Canucks. GM Mike Gillis continues to insist that's not the case, that he could still open up camp with Luongo and Cory Schneider sharing the crease, but that's just not going to happen.
If you weren't convinced of that before then you probably will be after Luongo's interview with The Jeff O'Neil Show on 99.3 the Fox in Vancouver (audio, slightly NSFW -- language). It was Luongo's first interview since the Canucks had their locker cleanout day and Luongo said he'd be OK with a trade if the Canucks asked.
Among the many topics discussed was Luongo's future in Vancouver. Let's just say there isn't one to speak of.
"I would never say never, you never know, but I think we all know what's going on," Luongo said of possibly returning. "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 had a great six years in Vancouver. I think it's a wonderful city, I really enjoyed my time there. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to bring a Stanley Cup there, which is probably my biggest regret. It will be remembered for six great years."
Reading through the lines is no longer necessary. Everything talking about his time with the Canucks is past tense and, oh yeah, "it's time to move on." It doesn't get much clearer than all of that now does it?
Obviously the task is still on Gillis to find a deal. For some time the favorite -- and some say only -- to get Luongo is his old team, the Florida Panthers. That is reportedly Luongo's destination of choice, and the Panthers are at least OK with it even if their goaltending situation isn't as bad as you might think.
One sticking point with a Florida trade could be Jose Theodore, though. The Panthers have three goalies right now in Theodore, Scott Clemmensen and Jacob Markstrom. Markstrom is going to be in the AHL again this season and Clemmensen was just re-signed for two seasons and is an ideal backup. That leaves Theodore the odd man out, but he's also somebody the Canucks would want, according to The Province.
The problem might come in the fact that Theodore has a limited no-movement clause and the Canucks don't appear to be on the approved list and a former goalie coach of his -- Rollie Melanson -- is in Vancouver, which might preclude Theodore from wanting to go Vancouver.
Is that the only place Luongo would approve a deal to, as some people have suggested? Luongo wasn't saying in the interview.
"We never really had that discussion," Luongo said. "[Gillis] kind of threw it out there when we had our meeting at the end of the year, and we never really discussed teams."
So basically Luongo is done in Vancouver, but we still don't know where he will continue.
While that all gets figured out, Luongo is busy playing poker. No really, he is taking part in the World Series of Poker and trying to make it to Las Vegas, which would interfere with the NHL season, assuming they are playing games come November.
As for the rest of the wide-ranging interview that's 20 minutes long? Well, there was some good stuff in there, including a very political answer about the Twitter account @Strombone1 and whether or not that's really him. He also talked about the possibilities of playing in Chicago or Florida. Puck Daddy has much more of the transcript, where Luongo showed his candid and honest personality. Hmm, sounds sort of like one @Strombone1 ...
H/t to The Province