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Luongo: "It’s about getting ready to play..."

by Derek Jory / Vancouver Canucks

Before Roberto Luongo golfed, he was engulfed.

When the Vancouver Canucks goaltender arrived at the 29th annual Canucks for Kids Fund Jake Milford Charity Invitational Golf Tournament Wednesday, a throng of anxious media was there to greet him.

Luongo, speaking in a scrum for the first time since locker clean out on April 24th, didn’t shy away from the questions that needed to be answered, but his statements were no different today than 141 days ago.

He is a member of the Canucks, he remains committed to the organization and he has not been asked to waive his no-trade clause, which he said he would to help facilitate a trade should Vancouver be looking to deal him.

“Obviously we all want to know what the future holds,” said Luongo, outside the clubhouse at the Northview Golf and Country Club in Surrey, BC. “Sometimes these things take longer than others. I don’t think it’s the worst thing in the world, I’ve got some great friends on the team, lots of respect for the organization and I’ve had some great times here.

“There’s no animosity whatsoever, Mike’s got to do his thing and I’m here and I’m enjoying my time.”

Luongo traveled to Vancouver for potentially less than a week, arriving Tuesday afternoon. If a new CBA is not reached by Saturday, he'll return to Florida to continue preparing for whenever the season begins.

“It’s about getting ready to play,” he said. “I can’t be focused on what’s going to happen down the road, because we don’t know. Things change a lot in this business and I want to make sure that no matter what happens I’m ready and contributing the best way I can.

“I’m working hard to prepare to play and whether that’s here or somewhere else, I’m going to make the most of it.”

When pressed for information about which preferred teams were on an apparent list that was given to Canucks management, Luongo clarified that he never submitted a list.

When asked about Florida specifically, Luongo said that it was a lot sunnier in Vancouver Wednesday than it has been of late in the Sunshine State.

When asked what comes next, Luongo deferred to Canucks general manager Mike Gillis, who has been dealing with Luongo’s agent throughout the process.

Gillis also spoke with the media saying he is not surprised Luongo is a still a member of the Canucks, or that the netminder showed up for the charity golf tournament.

“Roberto has been a huge part of this team and may continue to be a huge part of this team,” said Gillis. “He didn’t hesitate when we sent the invitation out to everyone and it’s great to see him here. He handles himself incredibly professionally, team first approach all the time and I’m not surprised at all that he’s here.”

Gillis would not go into detail regarding discussions he’s had or continues to have with other clubs about Luongo, insisting the veteran goaltender remains with the Canucks and the rest remains up in the air.

“People are pursuing us and we’re listening to difference scenarios. Unfortunately a lot is predicated on what may happen down the road, which is out of our control.

“But there’s been a lot of talk and a lot of discussion. We’re going to do what’s best for our hockey team and what’s best for Roberto and we’ll see how it goes and do our best to make sure we have a smooth transition into this season.”

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