Roberto Luongo changed agents and this has to be seen as a shot across the bow of the Vancouver Canucks.
Why else would a guy with nine years left on a contract fire his agent?
This tells me Luongo is not coming to camp quietly and probably doesn’t want to come at all.
This tells me Gilles Lupien told Luongo that he couldn’t help find him a trade out of Vancouver so Luongo told him he was fired.
This tells me Luongo has now entrusted CAA Sports (J.P. Barry and Pat Brisson) to find him the trade Lupien couldn’t.
As long as Luongo’s contract was a standard players deal (no reason why it wouldn’t have been) then Lupien will continue to receive a cheque thanks to the 12-year “sucky” contract he helped negotiate with GM Mike Gillis.
So what’s in it for CAA?
Certainly they aren’t taking on Luongo for nothing.
Perhaps their fee is contingent on facilitating a trade for Luongo. And I ‘m guessing having Luongo in their stable is a good thing too, especially when it comes to trying to attract other potential clients.
There is no question that Barry and Brisson are well respected agents with a ton of superstar clients — something that clearly factored into Luongo’s decision to change representation.
Now we have yet to hear from Luongo on any of this.
He hasn’t spoke publicly since the day he found out Cory Schneider would be the goalie exiting Vancouver.
In this case I don’t believe that silence is golden. I don’t think you have to be a Rhodes scholar to come to the conclusion he isn’t happy right now.
If he still hasn’t “wrapped his head around” what happened on draft day then we can probably assume he doesn’t want to wrap his head around it.
Gillis tried to downplay the whole Luongo situation Tuesday night at the Canucks annual Summer Summit.
Gillis was asked questions about his visit to see Luongo in Florida last week and Vancouver’s GM described it as a normal conversation.
He said it “wasn’t stressful,” adding the two spent much of the meeting sharing laughs over various topics.
I wasn’t there, of course, but I can guarantee you the meeting wasn’t all rainbows, puppy dogs and unicorns.
The fact that Luongo hasn’t spoken likely means he’s not looking forward to playing for Vancouver this season.
Now this is all speculation on my part.
I may be way off base and I guess I could be reading too much into Luongo’s silence and his decision to change representation.
But I wouldn’t bet on it.
The one thing I would bet on however is that Luongo will not hold out. If CAA Sports can’t find him a new home then I fully expect Luongo to play for the Canucks and play hard.
He loves his teammates, he’s a fierce competitor and he wants to win. And oh yeah, he wants to be Team Canada’s No. 1 goalie at the Olympics.
No way he throws that opportunity out the window to try and force the Canucks’ hand.
This is the story that never ends, yes it just goes on and on my friends.