Luongo’d: Will Toronto Go For Jonathan Bernier or Jaroslav Halak Instead?

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by Kolby Solinsky

Editor, White Cover Magazine

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“If a deal for Luongo makes sense for the Leafs and doesn’t cost too much, then I don’t think (Toronto GM Dave) Nonis will let anything personal get in the way of making his team better. But I also bet he’d love to make a deal for another solid goalie and give the Canucks one less suitor for Luongo.”

Oh no, Dan Murphy! Don’t give away the game!

The above paragraph is something Canucks fans have feared the rest of the League knowing for some time. It’s the classic, “We don’t need you” bluff that ultimately ends with Vancouver’s Mike Gillis promising Nonis a rim job but the monkey bars.

All along — whether it was going to be Cory Schneider or Roberto Luongo — the Canucks knew they’d have to deal somebody.

It was going to happen, and it may as well happen with Toronto or Florida. Or, even goddamn Philadelphia. Somewhere far, far away.

“Far, far away and never return,” said Scar.

The only problem, though, is the one that Dan Murphy just cracked open. The Leafs don’t need Luongo if they just want a goalie. Jaroslav Halak in St. Louis. He’s decent.

How about Jonathan Bernier?

“I want to play. That’s it,” the 24-year-old said last Friday. “I can’t really do anything about it. It’s been two years that I’ve been in that situation. I just want to play, and with that schedule now things can change a lot. … Hopefully Suttsy can squeeze me in for a few.”

Bernier’s basically like a beta version of Schneider, only the goalie in front of him — Jonathan Quick — has already won a Stanley Cup. The only difference, of course, is that Bernier has yet to prove himself at an NHL level. Schneider’s proficiency is somewhat guaranteed, as is Luongo’s.

Well, Luongo’s is a no-brainer.

 

“There’s been a lot more interest in Roberto than people wanted to recognize because (they thought) the contract was onerous or difficult,” said Gillis. “That has never been mentioned to me by one team. I know some people like to make a big deal of that but it’s a very friendly contract for a lot of reasons.”

Well, yeah. There is interest in Luongo.

But, the real truth of it is that Toronto needs to do away with their one-year goalie games.

They’ve tried to ride the hot-but-unproven hand. They’ve flirted with Martin Gerber and Vesa Toskala and even Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who also didn’t work out. They’ve died with Andrew Raycroft, who had won a Calder Trophy before sinking his career with the Maple Leafs.

The Leafs have been down this road. They even kept Justin Pogge over Tuukka Rask, and that one has just been borderline idiotic.

Roberto Luongo isn’t one of these guys. He’s a Hall of Famer. He’s a sure thing.

Toronto and Vancouver both need this deal to happen. It’s only too bad they don’t know that.