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Canucks goalie Luongo switches agents

Thursday, 07.25.2013 / 11:08 AM / News

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Canucks goalie Luongo switches agents
J.P. Barry, a top player agent, confirmed Wednesday that he and his partner, Pat Brisson, have been hired to represent Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo.

J.P. Barry, a top player agent, confirmed Wednesday he and partner Pat Brisson have been hired to represent Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo.

Luongo had been represented by Gilles Lupien, who negotiated the 12-year, $64 million contract Luongo signed in 2009.

Barry said he would not comment on why Luongo made the change, only saying he plans on meeting soon with Canucks general manager Mike Gillis and assistant GM Laurence Gilman.

"I think I am going to have to reserve comment for a while," Barry told the Vancouver Sun. "We need to get up to speed and take some time. Obviously we are coming on to a difficult file and we need to give him proper advice and we need to take some time here, talk with Roberto, talk with Mike and Laurence. There are media reports and then there's talking to the parties. We'll take the time to do that over the next little while here … we'll try and reach out to them in the next day or two."

An agent's main job is negotiating a player's contract, but with nine years left on Luongo's deal, it doesn't seem there will be much work for Barry and Brisson to do. However, Barry said contract work is only part of his job.

"There's a misperception about what agents do in the business," Barry said. "We do more than just negotiate contracts. Our job is to guide players and their careers year to year, and whether it deals with public relations or it deals with marketing or it deals with many, many other different things, obviously he is a star player and has been one of the best goaltenders in the world for a long time, so we're here to help him out."

Luongo has had a turbulent relationship with the Canucks since the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, when he lost his starting job to Cory Schneider. Luongo asked for a trade in the summer of 2012, but his contract made it difficult for Gillis to find a partner.

Gillis continued to shop Luongo last season but was unable to make a deal.

An injury to Schneider put Luongo in net for the first two games of the Canucks' 2013 first-round playoff series against the San Jose Sharks, but he allowed three goals in each of the games and Vancouver was swept. After the series, Gillis said it was unlikely Luongo would return to the Canucks in 2013-14.

A trade of Schneider to the New Jersey Devils on the day of the 2013 NHL Draft changed those plans. At an event Tuesday for Canucks season-ticket holders, Gillis said he had met with Luongo and expects him to be the starter when the season begins.

Brisson on Thursday told TSN that Luongo would not hold out from training camp.

"I have full confidence in Roberto and I have full confidence that he'll be here, and that is how we are operating," Gillis said.

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