Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Roberto Luongo To The Toronto Maple Leafs?

After a disappointing first round exit from the Stanley Cup playoffs in which Cory Schneider took over the number one goaltender duties, Roberto Luongo has announced that he is willing to waive his no trade clause and leave Vancouver. The probability Lou is traded this offseason has to be at least 85%, and thus far the teams being mentioned the most are the Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning. The biggest determining factor in where he ends up is whether he's willing to go anywhere, or if he gives Gillis a restricted list of teams he'll play for. Having the no trade clause does give him a veto (whether or not he chooses to use it), and many in the Vancouver media have speculated that Roberto would want nothing to do with Toronto (where angry fans closed out the season heckling their goaltenders). Roberto needs people to pump his tires. Everyone knows that.

Brian Burke is certainly desperate enough for a #1 goaltender that he will almost certainly make an offer for Luongo. That much you can take to the bank, unless of course he's able to find another goaltender before Lou is moved. Whether or not Roberto goes to the Leafs depends on if he's willing to play in the center of the Universe in front of a frustrated, often hostile fan base. I don't think he is. If I were a gambling man, I'd wager a large sum of money that he ends up in the state of Florida. As a matter of personal preference, Luongo in Toronto would be far more entertaining. Leaf Nation is in a volatile state right now, and if the team doesn't start winning next season, things will deteriorate from ugly to uglier. Lou is more likely to get his tires slashed by Leaf fans than he is to get them pumped. Leaf nation would fall in love with him if he succeeds, and eat him alive if he fails. For that reason, don't expect Toronto to be on his short list.

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