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What We Learned: Maybe Mike Gillis was serious


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Just read an article regarding Gillis and the Luongo situation. Don't know if it needs it own thread but it's been a slow couple of weeks.


The article states:

There is little doubt that Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis would very much prefer to move Roberto Luongo for obvious reasons.

Luongo simply cannot any longer be seen as a viable option after he was repeatedly sat in favor of Cory Schneider in the playoffs last season, and has been routinely disquieted by trade rumors. He's expensive. He's signed long-term. He might not be as good as the Schneider. Everyone on earth expects that he will be traded before the season starts.

But the longer this summer rolls on, the stranger the scenario seems to be. Back in June, there were several teams mentioned in connection with Luongo's services, but that number has slowly been whittled away to just one: Florida. And yet there seems to be less movement now than there was even into July. We're now past 100 days of this saga.

Earlier in the week, we were told that Gillis has a very specific directive for Florida: Give us Nick Bjugstad. Florida has repeatedly denied that request, and so we wait.

The interesting thing is that Gillis has repeatedly said he was more than willing to enter next season with both Luongo and Schneider remaining as his goaltending tandem. The idea was probably first bandied about on the Canucks' getaway day, and earned a few guffaws from those who couldn't possibly imagine such a scenario because, y'know, come on. They had to trade him because… well, they just had to do it, right?

But now it's early August, and it's getting harder and harder to disbelieve him. Uncomfortable for pretty much everyone involved? Sure. But he's not in the position that Scott Howson was with Rick Nash.

"We're listening," Gillis told NHL.com. "We have been listening to teams that are interested in acquiring him. If we get what we think the value is there we'll trade him. I don't have a timetable. In fact, in hockey things can change in five minutes with one phone call. It's unrealistic to put a timetable on it."

Gillis can sit back and wait for the Panthers to come to him on this. With or without Luongo, his team can still end the regular season No. 1 in the Western Conference as they have the last two seasons. His team isn't the one with the need, but is Florida ready to enter another season with Jose Theodore and Scott Clemmensen between the pipes, especially given how teams in their division have improved in this offseason? Can they count on another freakishly bad Washington team scraping along all year?

Dale Tallon may love what Bjugstad brings to his organization, but does he love it more than a significantly improved chance to make the playoffs for the second consecutive season? That's what Gillis is counting on, and he's no dummy. This is the guy who artificially drove up Cody Hodgson's trade value with favorable zone starts for weeks in an effort to work a more advantageous deal for himself.

Everyone is aware that the Canucks don't especially want Luongo on the roster, and if a team really does, then they're going to have to come to heel and acquiesce to Gillis' demands. As with most Canucks trades, he's running this beautifully. It's likely that no one involved would actually be happy to have Luongo back at Canucks training camp next month, but at the same time, it also wouldn't be the worst thing in the world for that team either.

-end article.

One thing i found interesting was the part about Hodson and how MG drove up his trade value.

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If he drove up Hodgson's value, then you have to be a big believer in Zack Kassian.

Tallon sat on Booth at the start of last season. No reason not to expect Gillis to sit on Luongo at the start of this season.

But there's way too much talk of Bjugstad, imo. That of course isn't the only option Gillis is considering.

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I've learned two troubling things:

--Luango may be unwilling to be traded anywhere but Florida. So the waiting game is as much for him as it is for other teams to up their offers. He either blinks and expands his list of destinations or reports to camp as a 2nd stringer.

--Leafs, the one team with the biggest need and thus most motivated to trade for Lu, have absolutely nothing MG wants.

Also, Bjugstad must be hell of a prospect.

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