Roberto Luongo trade rumors: Canucks GM Mike Gillis won't succumb to pressure to make deal

Dale MacMillan

Vancouver Canucks general manager Mike GIllis is willing to wait for the right deal to move goaltender Roberto Luongo.

With the 2013 NHL regular season only hours away from beginning, goaltender Roberto Luongo still remains a member of the Vancouver Canucks franchise.

According to general manager Mike Gillis, it potentially could stay that way for some time.

Gillis stated that he is comfortable retaining Luongo for the duration of the season if he is unable to find a suitable trade partner.

Following a first round exit in last year's postseason, it seems the Canucks are interested in moving into the future with Cory Schneider as the franchise's No. 1 goalie. Considering Luongo has 10 years remaining on a contract that carries an annual average value of $5,333,333 against the salary cap, it seems as though it would be in the team's best interest to move the 33-year-old former starter.

While Gillis has publicly admitted as much, he has remained adamant that he will not be rushed into a deal that doesn't improve his hockey team. Especially, if an interested team is pressuring him to make a trade.

According to Gillis, he believes the Toronto Maple Leafs were trying to do that, via TSN:

"The notion that we were asking for too much was floated in the Toronto media by a team that was extremely interested in acquiring Roberto and were using every means possible to try and force us to do something that we didn't think was right. That's nothing new in this business and it's not the type of pressure that I'm going to succumb too."

Toronto has been speculated to be most likely destination for Luongo.

General manager Dave Nonis has admitted that he would like to improve his club with an experienced goaltender. In addition, Nonis was the one who orchestrated the acquisition of Luongo by the Canucks in 2006 when he was the team's general manager.

However, Nonis has made it clear he doesn't want to give up too much young talent to acquire a goaltender.

When asked if Gillis thought a trade with the Maple Leafs was dead, he explained that things can change quickly:

"I don't know what's going to happen with other teams - players might not play well, there may be injuries that they have at that position which may change the landscape. But as it sits today, we need to get something in return that is going to help our team and we're not in the business of just helping other teams."

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