Once again the idea of the Chicago Blackhawks trading for Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo has reared its ugly head. Over the weekend, a story in the Vancouver Province said the teams have been talking and “reportedly” the Hawks have dangled Dave Bolland for the embattled netminder.
There are so many reasons this would be a bad idea it’s hard to pick the best one. In fact, trading anyone for Luongo remains a poor notion. Talk about creating a bigger headache than you already have …
Bolland is a valuable player. For what the Hawks need out of Luongo he simply may not be. At least not for what his contract dictates him to be. If he still was, the Canucks would not be trading him. And the Hawks are short on centers as it is. Potentially upgrading themselves in goal will only come back to haunt them up the middle. Most important is the idea that the Canucks believe they can get full value -- which Bolland would be -- for Luongo. The whole league knows he’s being moved. If the Hawks trade a quasi top-6 forward for Luongo, Vancouver would be committing highway robbery.
And no matter his public proclamations, Luongo doesn’t want any part of leaving one pressure cooker for another. Not a chance. His leash with fans in Chicago wouldn’t last through the fan convention this weekend let alone his first soft goal. The Hawks know this. There has been no indication from them -- publicly or privately -- throughout the offseason that they are interested in Luongo other than perhaps the usual perfunctory phone calls that can be chalked up to due diligence.
A case could be made it made sense to pursue Martin Brodeur, and if Tim Thomas wasn’t taking a year off there is some indication the Hawks would have been interested. But those players have friendly contracts.
Luongo’s is anything but. He’s signed for another 10 years. And it might make sense if Luongo was the sure thing he was earlier in his career, but he’s not. That contract could become an anchor as soon as next year, and then his new team is really stuck. The Hawks don’t need that.
Canucks general manager Mike Gillis might be holding out for a great “hockey trade” but anyone with savvy will wait him out and throw him some draft picks and a prospect or two and Gillis should thank them for doing it. And that team should not be the Hawks.
Give Corey Crawford another chance. If not, his deal is up one year later, and he could easily be traded, released, sent to Europe like Cristobal Huet, forced to play in the minors or a myriad of other options. There are no “other” options when trading for Luongo. The Hawks would be stuck with him and in an ironic way he would be a reminder of past glory days. You know, when the Hawks were winning a Stanley Cup thanks, in part, to the man Hawks fans love to hate.
Let’s keep him that way.