Vancouver Canucks general manager Mike Gillis said Sunday that he was in no hurry to trade goaltender Roberto Luongo and that he did not think Luongo’s long-term contract would not be a major roadblock to a potential deal.
Gillis told reporters on Sunday that he has already had substantial discussion with teams about a trade for Luongo, despite a contract that has 10 years and $47.3 million left on it. Luongo was replaced by Cory Schneider as Vancouver’s starter in last season’s playoffs.
But Gillis insisted that he wouldn’t trade Luongo unless he got something substantial in return.
“There’s been a lot more interest in Roberto than people wanted to recognize because the contract was onerous or difficult,” Gillis said, according to The Vancouver Sun. “That has never been mentioned to me by one team. I know some people like to make a big deal of that but it’s a very friendly contract for a lot of reasons. That’s one of the reasons why in the new collective agreement there are penalties and you can’t sign these types of contracts because they are favourable. So contract is not an issue.
The Canucks have not officially announced who will be their starter this season. But the 33-year-old Luongo said before the NHL lockout began that he would waive his no-trade clause if asked. Since then, rumors have continually popped up about a potential trade to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Luongo indicated on Friday that he was in no rush to be shipped out of Vancouver, however.
“I told [Gillis] I was ready to go as long as it took,” Luongo said. “Whether it’s a couple days, next week, two weeks, at the end of the season, it’s totally fine with me.”