Earlier this afternoon, Aaron Portzline, a reputable reporter for the Columbus Blue Jackets tweeted the following:
Now, if it were any of the make believe “sources” a.k.a “Donkey’s” such as the comical @HockeyyInsiderr or @NHLSourcesSay twitter accounts, then one would kibosh this notion of Roberto Luongo to the Chicago Blackhawks immediately. But no, this was reported by Portzline who is a well-respected media personality throughout the league.
This rumour could be long gone by now and as Aaron mentioned in his tweet he noted he doesn’t know where it stands now.
Could it be true? Roberto Luongo playing for his nemesis rivals the Chicago Blackhawks? One could guess that anything can happen but still seems unlikely to happen.
If it were to happen, who would Vancouver want from Chicago? An obvious choice would be highly regarded Andrew Shaw and/or possibly one of the Hawks’ 2012 draft picks this year. If the Hawk’s just took Luongo for draft picks alone that would leave Chicago with roughly two million of cap space left so one would think salary is going the other way.
Also, an interesting question is how would the dedicated Blackhawks fans handle Luongo sporting their beloved Indian head sweater? Some fans apparently hated Luongo but from what I’ve noticed most just enjoyed making fun of Roberto. He’s not exactly a “hateable” type of character compared to some other current team mates of his. No, I’m not making an excuse to like Luongo if he eventually lands in the great city of Chicago.
Would Bobby Lou improve the Hawks’ goaltending?
If one were to look at last season, anyone but Steve Mason would have improved Chicago’s goalie issues last year, but to be fair, the team defence was horrific so it probably would have made only a marginal improvement. Chicago still managed to finish with a very respectable 101 points on the season even with all of their defensive issues and playing in arguably the NHL’s toughest division.
Personally I don’t see a need to add Luongo and end up losing any spectacular young players. I believe Corey Crawford deserves another shot at proving himself after his first year as a starter did not go so well. If he can regain what he had in his rookie season where there were very few goaltenders that were better, then, all is good in Chicago.
The cap hit would be painful considering he is signed until the year 2021 and if the Hawks’ were to be underachievers anytime from now until then, Luongo would surely be taking a ton of heat like poor Brian Campbell did. Chicago can afford him but is it a route that the management wants to take?
Chicago hasn’t had a solid number one goaltender since Ed Belfour so one can understand the thinking of the Hawks’ brass that they would dearly love to have one after all of these years. However, the Blackhawks proved in 2010 that you can win without a superstar goaltender but Jonathan Quick proved this year that it’s much easier if you do have one.
What if Vancouver would accept a deal that sent Crawford and a 2nd round pick in 2013 (supposed to be a deep draft) for Luongo’s services? Would Hawk’s fans like that? Who knows, for now, if I’m Chicago, I stand pat with Crawford but keep their eyes open for a better back-up goalie than Ray Emery and find a goalie that can actually push Corey for the starter’s job.
Thanks for reading,