Were it not for a dispute over dollars, Roberto Luongo would have moved from the Vancouver Canucks to the Toronto Maple Leafs on trade deadline day.
Vancouver general manager Mike Gillis and Toronto general manager Dave Nonis were close to a deal that would have sent Luongo to the Leafs for backup goaltender Ben Scrivens and Toronto’s second- and third-round picks in the 2013 Draft, a source informed Hockey Central insider Mark Spector.
However, there was a final element of the deal that Gillis would not agree to: picking up some of Luongo’s salary.
During his tenure as Vancouver Canucks GM, Nonis had previously acquired Luongo through a trade with Florida.
Luongo’s 12-year, $64-million contract with the Canucks carries a $5.33-million salary-cap hit for the next nine seasons.
“My contract sucks,” Luongo memorably said at his post-deadline press conference. “That’s what the problem is. It’s a big factor in trading me and probably why I’m still here.”