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Canucks' Luongo: 'Tough to do a complete 180 turn'

Wednesday, 09.11.2013 / 10:31 PM

By Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent / Training Camp 2013 blog

VANCOUVER -- Roberto Luongo was back in the media spotlight Wednesday, and again he was asked about his state of mind coming back as the No.1 goaltender for a Vancouver Canucks team that took that title away and tried to trade him for almost 18 months.

Except this time Luongo wasn't asked if he was happy about coming back to Vancouver after preparing to leave for so long, a question he danced around in previous interviews, but whether or not it was important. It certainly seems to be among the fan base.

"You guys [have to] understand, after what has happened over two years, it's a process and just kind of got to feel it out and see how it goes" Luongo said. "I am not saying I am unhappy. I am just saying right now I just want to be playing and then we'll see how things go. I think it's tough to do a complete 180 turn on something like this."

Luongo became the No. 1 after the Canucks did a surprise about-face and instead traded Cory Schneider to the New Jersey Devils at the NHL Draft for the ninth pick, which Vancouver used to select Bo Horvat.

More than two months later, Luongo is admittedly still trying to wrap his head around the situation that led him back, but has stopped trying to predict a long-term future that includes nine more seasons on the 12-year, $64 million contract he signed with the Canucks. For now, he's here and happy to play.

"I am excited to be around the guys and I want to play and win hockey games for the Vancouver Canucks right now," he said. "At the end of the day that's all that matters, and who knows what the future holds? I can't predict it, and obviously the last couple years things that happened aren't things I ever would have thought of, so I stopped trying to figure it out, and I just want to live day by day and play the game.

"I am playing hockey and I am a starter in the NHL so you can't really ask for much more than that at this point."

Once again, it shows character in this dressing room. Once again, there's no quitting in here. We all wanted this so bad and we worked so hard to get home-ice advantage and we weren't going to let this one slide.

— Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog on his team's OT Game 1 win vs. Minnesota Wild