After months of constant rumors and speculation, Roberto Luongo remains a member of the Vancouver Canucks after the trade deadline. The news that Luongo will remain with the club until at least the summer even inspired a rare "I haven't been traded" press conference from the goaltender shortly after the deadline passed.
Why wasn't Luongo traded? The answer likely lies in the fact he still has nine years left on his bloated 12-year, $64 million contract – a contract that Luongo personally describes as one that "sucks."
In a press conference after the deadline passed, Luongo told reporters that, "My contract sucks." He went on to state that he would "scrap it down" if he could.
How strange is it to see a player hold a conference discussing the fact he wasn't traded. Bizarre. Luongo might not like his large contract because it has prevented him from finding a new team, but don't think for a second that he minds being paid $64 million across 12 years. Would you mind receiving that large of a check? Probably not.
Several teams were reportedly interested in Luongo's services, including the Toronto Maple Leafs. It was believed that Toronto was the closest in reaching a deal for the goaltender but ultimately the two sides were too far apart.
Realistically, the only offers Vancouver received probably involved very little compensation, if anything at all. A team that would agree to take on Luongo's contract and sizable cap hit ($5,333,333 a year) probably believes that eating the contract alone should be enough in a trade. We're assuming Vancouver wants to receive something for their goaltender beyond just dumping his contract.
Stay tuned. This is a topic that will be discussed at length as the season winds down. Eventually, Luongo will find a new home and we should finally see a resolution to this played out storyline over the summer.
Luongo has made the best of an awkward situation to date and he'll have to keep that bright attitude as he continues to back Cory Schneider for the remainder of the 2013 season.