Vancouver Canucks coach John Tortorella said he has spoken to Roberto Luongo multiple times and believes the goaltender is in the right frame of mind to start preparing for the season.
In an interview with the Vancouver Sun published Thursday, Tortorella was asked about his contact with Luongo since becoming coach June 25.
"I don't want to get into specifics, but I have talked to Roberto four times," Tortorella told Brad Ziemer via telephone from Wisconsin. "In fact, I just talked to him yesterday. I'll tell you, from talking with him, he has told me he is working very hard as far as conditioning and getting ready for this season.
"He knows there is a lot of talk and probably a lot of questions coming his way with how it all unfolded here. I think he's prepared for that, and the bottom line is he told me, 'I just want to play.'"
Luongo was reinstated as the Canucks No. 1 goaltender after the team traded Cory Schneider to the New Jersey Devils on June 30. It was long believed Luongo was going to be the one traded at some point, leading to speculation fence-mending was required.
Owner Francesco Aquilini, general manager Mike Gillis and Tortorella each reportedly visited Luongo at his home in Florida.
"I think that is the most important thing, if there is some conflict or you are unhappy about certain things, the bottom line is, and he understands it, is that he is playing for his teammates," Tortorella said. "Those are the most important people.
"I have done a lot of talking to people who have coached him and know him and there is just tremendous support for what kind of pro he is. You don't have to be happy about a lot of different things. You can be really happy about this, unhappy about that, as long as you are ready to play. I think he gets that. So I am really excited about where he is mentally."
Luongo, 34, hired new agents in July, even though he has nine years remaining on his contract. He has not commented publicly since Schneider was traded, with the exception of comments on his Twitter account (@Strombone1).
Luongo was invited to Canada's Olympic orientation camp, to be held in Calgary from Aug. 25-28. The Canucks are scheduled to report to training camp Sept. 11.