Roberto Luongo was good enough to go to the Olympics as a back-up goaltender. But apparently he isn’t good enough to play for the Vancouver Canucks – not with Eddie Lack in the house.
Canucks coach John Tortorella kept Luongo on the bench as his team took three of six points during a three-game home stand coming out of the Olympic break.
Luongo makes $6,714,000 this season. He will collect that sum for the next four seasons, too. Then his contract calls for salaries of $3,382,000, $1,618,000, $1,000,000 and $1,000,000 on remaining fours years of his comical 12-year, $64 million contract.
And yet he plays behind the great Eddie Lack.
“I have to make decisions not on consensus, but on what I think is best for that team,” Tortorella told reporters after his team lost to the Ottawa Senators Sunday. “Louie is pissed, he is not happy. He is proud. I get that. I like the guy. I think he has been terrific for us this year, but this is part of the business.”
Last year Luongo lost his job to Cory Schneider. But general manager Mike Gillis was unable to trade Luongo and his contract, so he shipped out Schneider.
Now Luongo is heading down the same path.
“I know it is a very sensitive thing here because of what happened last year and I tell you I weighed that,” Tortorella said. “I did a lot of thinking about that. I have to make decisions right now which I think is going to give our team the best chance to win.”