Vancouver Canucks head coach John Tortorella stated that he is excited about where goaltender Roberto Luongo is mentally. While Tortorella might be excited about Luongo's presence on the Canucks, the same can't be said of the goaltender.
Luongo told James Duthie of TSN that he will report to Canucks' training camp but is still uncertain about his future with the club. He explained that he viewed the situation as a divorce and had mentally prepared to move onto a new chapter in his life. Luongo also stated that he broke down after he learned of Cory Schneider's trade to the New Jersey Devils.
For the entirety of last season (and several months before it), Luongo was waiting to be traded to a new team. After an anticlimactic result at the trade deadline, Luongo expressed that his contract 'sucked', and that it acted as a roadblock to trade discussions over the last year. In fact, Luongo stated that he held discussions with the NHL Players' Association in May to explore the potential of voiding the deal. It's the sole reason he's still in Vancouver.
The interview will be televised on TSN at 6 p.m. ET on Friday night.
@tsnjamesduthie *grabs popcorn*— Strombone (@strombone1) August 23, 2013
Obviously, this is an issue many were concerned about. Luongo had clearly run his course in Vancouver and was patiently waiting to go somewhere new. The organization openly acknowledged that they were looking to trade him and everyone anticipated that he would be somewhere new by the 2013-14 regular season at the very latest.
Now the Canucks have a situation where they have kicked the can down the road. Instead of dealing with the Luongo issue, they traded Schneider and assumed everything would work itself out. While that's still a possibility, it's abundantly clear that smooth sailing is still a ways away for the Canucks.
What remains unclear is what options Luongo has to force the team's hand. With the exception of not playing (and in turn, not getting paid) Luongo appears to lack an easy out.