For a team picking 26th overall, the Vancouver Canucks sure have a lot of eyes on them in Pittsburgh this weekend because of the Roberto Luongo situation.
Canucks assistant GM Laurence Gilman met with the media on Thursday and offered these thoughts on the ongoing saga of their star goaltender potentially leaving town:
How much interest has there been?
Gilman: “Mike [Gillis] has entertained calls on both our goaltenders. To this point, we’ve taken the position that it falls into the category of problems we don’t mind having in the sense that it’s better to have too many than not enough.
“There are certainly teams in the league that are looking to improve in goal. At this point, we’re not doing anything fast. But Mike has certainly spoken to a number of general managers about both our goaltenders.”
Could you trade Cory Schneider and keep Luongo?
Gilman: “Well, I guess anything is possible. Including the possibility of going forward with both goaltenders. Everyone seems to think it’s a preordained thing that somebody is going. But that scenario does exist as well. Anything is possible at this point.”
What are the chances that something happens this weekend?
Gilman: “I wouldn’t want to make a prediction on it. There is interest right now. It is conceivable that we could make a deal this weekend. That being said, it’s also possible that we don’t do anything.”
So, is that posturing? Probably. No team in this situation wants to appear desperate, including both the Canucks and those after Luongo.
Realistically, however, Vancouver would be hard pressed to carry both goalies once Schneider gets his new contract (a deal that is mainly waiting on Luongo being moved out to get done) as the franchise would have somewhere in the neighbourhood of $10-million in cap space committed to the one position when it needs additions elsewhere.
Expect Luongo to be moved in the near future so that both he and the organization can move onto other business. (The Canucks wouldn’t mind using some of that cap space on a free agent, for example.)
As for the draft itself, Gilman said the organization feels its biggest need is at forward (and specifically centre) but that they plan to “pick the best player based on skill” at the top of the draft and address positional needs in later rounds.