Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo figures to be on the move at some point, and the Toronto Maple Leafs could still be in play.
Luongo has been the subject of trade rumors for some time now, with Cory Schneider taking over as the Canucks’ No. 1 goaltender. The latest team to be linked to the three-time All-Star is the Leafs, who happened to fire general manager Brian Burke on Wednesday.
But while Luongo has noted his respect for Burke, the GM’s dismissal doesn’t necessarily mean Toronto will shy away from going after the veteran netminder.
According to Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos, Luongo is still very much in the hunt to become a Leaf in the wake of Burke’s firing. Kypreos tweeted Wednesday that a source is telling him, "Luongo still very much in the hunt to become a #Leaf despite GM Burke relieved of his duties."
Luongo spoke earlier this week about the prospect of joining Toronto, and he seemed to be warming up to the idea, even mentioning Burke specifically. “I have a lot of respect for Toronto, Brian Burke and the Leafs,” Luongo said, according to the Toronto Sun. “They are obviously part of the equation, there’s no denying that. But there’s a lot of things that can happen. I want to make sure I’m aware of all of the possibilities."
“I don’t know [what’s going to happen],” he continued. “I’ve never been part of something like this before. It’s cliche to say this, but it’s going to be day by day. I don’t have an answer. I don’t know what the end result will be.”
Luongo, who turns 34 in April, has 10 years at $5.33 million per season remaining on his current deal with the Canucks. That makes moving the goaltender a difficult task, although it’s something that seems inevitable at this point.