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Roberto Luongo: Should Canucks keep or move him?

Wednesday, 03.20.2013 / 7:20 PM
Adam Kimelman  - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

When Roberto Luongo signed a 12-year contract extension in September 2009, it was assumed he would spend the remainder of his career as the unquestioned starting goaltender for the Vancouver Canucks.

However, the questions started not long after the ink was dry and got the loudest when Luongo was struggling during the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs and lost his starting job to Cory Schneider.

Luongo has done well splitting time with Schneider this season, but is it a situation that's good to continue?

NHL.com examines the pros and cons to the Canucks making Luongo available to move prior to the April 3, 2013 NHL Trade Deadline:

ROBERTO LUONGO

Position: Goalie

Age: 33

Statistics: 15 games, 7-4-3, 2.47 goals-against average, .904 save percentage, 2 shutouts

Salary status: After this season, Luongo has nine seasons left on his contract, with an annual salary-cap hit of just over $5.33 million.

Keep him: Rather than allow the goaltending issue to become a distraction, Luongo and Schneider have continued to be a quality tandem and have the Canucks in the running for the Northwest Division title. Luongo has shown incredible professionalism dating to last season, when he lost his starting job in the playoffs. Despite that setback, he hasn't let any off-ice issues affect his on-ice play, showing his mental toughness and proving to be a positive locker-room presence. Also, having a quality backup will help in the Canucks' push for the playoffs, as his ability to go into any game situation allows them to keep Schneider fresh for the postseason.

Move him: With all the Luongo trade talk since the 2012 playoffs, it's actually remarkable he hasn't been moved. Canucks general manager Mike Gillis has set the bar high in any trade discussions, but could start to reassess his demands as April 3 draws closer. The Toronto Maple Leafs and Washington Capitals have been rumored to have interest in Luongo, but not for what Gillis reportedly is requesting in return. If he lowers his asking price, a deal to send Luongo out could happen at any time.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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