Originally written on Next Impulse Sports  |  Last updated 11/4/14

DENVER - OCTOBER 03: Goaltender Roberto Luongo #1 of the Vancouver Canucks defends the goal against the Colorado Avalanche during NHL action at the Pepsi Center on October 3, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. Luongo had 24 saves while giving up three goals as the Avalanche defeated the Canucks 3-0. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
There was a problem connecting to Twitter. New York Islanders beat writer Arthur Staple tweeted today that the Islanders would be interested in swapping Rick DiPietro for Roberto Luongo. On the surface it looks like a swap of two albatross contracts, but both Islander fans and Canucks fans know there is a lot more to this potential deal than meets the eye. Luongo was drafted 4th overall by then Islander GM Mike Milbury in 1997. He made his Islander debut in 1999 and played 24 games for the Isles during the 1999-2000 season. In a surprise move at the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, Luongo was traded along with Olli Jokinen to Florida for Oleg Kvasha and Mark Parrish. The deal was made because ‘Mad’ Mike Milbury fell in love with Rick DiPietro, a cocky freshman goaltender from Winthrop, Mass. playing for Boston University. Milbury was so taken with this DiPietro character that he traded a surefire franchise goaltender in Luongo away and picked DiPietro first overall. It was the first time in NHL History a goaltender was taken with the first overall pick in the draft. For Islander fans it serves as a reminder that Milbury almost ruined the franchise, setting them back so far that it has taken almost a full decade to recover from the losses during ‘Mad’ Mike’s Reign. Luongo went on to flourish in Florida and DiPietro developed into a promising goaltender, coming into his own around the same time Luongo was asking out of Florida to play for a chance to win a Cup. Luongo was traded to Vancouver before the 2006-07 season. The Canucks were on the cusp of becoming one of the elite teams in the league, and ‘Bobby Lu’ was their alleged missing piece. Also during that off-season the Islanders signed DiPietro to a landmark 15-year deal. Despite having only played two full NHL seasons as a starting goaltender, the Islanders committed to DiPietro until 2022. It is a move the Islanders and DiPietro will never live down. DiPietro played pretty well the first couple of seasons under his new deal. Then in 2008, at the same All-Star Game in Atlanta that Luongo skipped to be with his wife. During the All-Star Game’s Skill Competition, a mic’d up DiPietro hurt his hip making a save on Marion Gaborik in the breakaway contest. Gaborik was selected 3rd overall in the same draft that DiPietro was taken. DiPietro started for the Eastern Conference the next night but was never the same goaltender again. It is fitting that an athlete known for his hubris met his demise during a meaningless skills competition. As DiPietro battled injury, Luongo battled demons. He was one of the best regular season goaltenders in the league, but when the Canucks got into the playoffs, he would fade. The Vancouver Media was all over him. Undeterred by his anointment as a choke-artist, the Canucks named Luongo captain (naming your goaltender captain is a big n0-no in the unwritten rules of hockey) in 2008 and then signed him to a 12-year extension in 2009. The deal would end in 2022, the year after DiPietro’s contract would come off the Islanders’ books. Luongo enjoyed a terrific 2010-11 season, bringing the Canucks within one win of the Cup. He played well in the first three rounds of the playoffs and pitched a shutout at home to get the Canucks within a game of their first ever Stanley Cup. Then, with the Canucks up 3-2 on Boston, Luongo was pulled in game 6 after giving up three goals in the first three minutes of the first period. He then let up three goals on 20 shots in game 7, which the Canucks lost 4-0. Luongo was on the hot seat in Vancouver. His contract was considered a burden and the Canucks had another promising young goaltender shooting through their ranks in Cory Schneider. 3,000 miles east, DiPietro continued to rehab and worked hard to reclaim his spot in net for the Islanders. He was finally healthy enough to start a few games for the Islanders when his arrogance again got the best of him. Down 3-0 in Pittsburgh, DiPietro threw his body at Matt Cooke as he skated by his crease. This drew the ire of the entire Penguin team and led to Penguin goaltender Brent Johnson moseying down to challenge DP to a fight. DiPietro, despite his laundry list of injury problems, obliged Johnson and got socked in the cheek so hard it ended his season. Heading into 2011-12, DiPietro and Luongo were both back at square one. Luongo was being run out of town in Vancouver for failing when it mattered most, and DiPietro was being run off Long Island for failing all the time. Luongo’s contract was now a terrible burden and Canucks fans wanted to see what they had in Schneider. Luongo was turning into public enemy no. 1, a spot that DiPietro is all too familiar with on Long Island. Luongo and Schneider were platooned in goal for the Canucks in 2011-12, Schneider looked like a legitimate starter and put up better stats than Luongo. The tandem led the Canucks to the President’s Trophy, given to the team that accrues the most points during the regular season. Then head coach Alain Vigneault started Luongo in the Canucks’ first round playoff series vs. the LA Kings, but he lost both games despite playing well. Vigneault wanted to change the momentum of the series. Luongo wouldn’t start again for the Canucks as they succumbed to the eventual cup winners in five games. During the off-season Schneider signed a three-year extension and Luongo said he would waive his no-trade clause if the Canucks could find a suitor for him and his ginormous contract. Canucks’ GM Mike Gillis tried to trade Luongo to several teams, but nobody wanted to take on his wild contract. Trade talks stymied as the NHL and NHLPA headed towards a bitter lockout that saw almost half of the 2012-13 season cancelled. When it was announced that there would be two amnesty buyouts included in the new CBA, both Luongo’s and DiPietro’s names were bandied about as potential amnesty candidates. The Islanders and Canucks didn’t use their buyouts before the season and both Luongo and DiPietro were on their team’s opening night roster when play resumed. DiPietro would serve as Evgeni Nabokov’s backup on Long Island and Luongo would serve as the backup for Schneider. As the trading deadline approached Luongo’s name came up in several rumors. Many in the media had him pegged to be dealt to Toronto, but James Reimer was playing well enough there that Leafs GM Dave Nonis (who formerly worked as the GM of the Canucks) didn’t want to disrupt his team’s chemistry by trading for Luongo. A press conference was called by Gillis in which he announced Luongo was staying for the rest of the season. At the press conference Luongo said ‘his contract sucks’ and that is why nobody wanted to trade for him. DiPietro’s awful play led to his demotion mid-season and Luongo continued to adapt to his new role as the second goaltender in Vancouver. Without DiPietro the Islanders went on a terrific run to close out their season and clinched their first playoff berth since 2006-07. The Canucks rode Schneider into the playoffs but they were embarrassed in four games by the Sharks. The Isles valiantly lost to the top-seeded Pittsburgh Penguins in six games. They could have gone even further, but they didn’t get good enough goaltending to push the Penguins to the brink. The Isles were now in need of a goaltender they could rely on. They also had plenty of cap space. The stars were beginning to align. There was a problem connecting to Twitter. There was a problem connecting to Twitter. Sunday at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft all eyes will be on Gillis as he tries to finally find a spot for his talented, but overcompensated goaltender. The Isles will be using the opportunity at the draft to upgrade their goaltending situation. Could this actually happen? Back in 2000 when the Islanders traded Luongo to pave the path to stardom for DiPietro, one would be hard-pressed to make up a story wild enough that would see the two goalies get traded for each other. But now, after the way events unfolded, things got just about crazy enough for this to be feasible. DiPietro will likely never play another game in the NHL, so why would the Canucks want to trade Luongo for a goaltender they don’t plan on using? Well, since both goaltenders contracts come off the book in the same season, buying out DiPietro would pretty much be the same as buying out Luongo. So why don’t both teams just buy out their respective albatrosses and be done with it? Well, the Islanders need a goaltender and the Canucks are desperate to get anything in return for Luongo — who is still a really good goalie — if that means they need to swap these dudes and the Islanders have to toss in a pick and/or prospect to get Luongo it is probably the best option either team has right now. The bottom line is that if someone suggested this trade a few years ago on an HFboard thread, they would have been banned and mocked. Now, since life is weird and the unexpected is to be expected, it seems like an actual possibility.     Article found on: Next Impulse Sports
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao close to deal for fight

TJ Lang: Suh wanted to fight me after stepping on Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Hernandez jurors allowed to watch Super Bowl

Tiger misses cut: ‘I’m only doing this so I won’t get fined’

Roger Goodell grilled on Deflategate during presser

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rex Ryan: Seahawks need to ‘take the air out of the football’

J.J. Watt buys cabin in the middle of nowhere to train

Six teams have done background work on Peterson

NBA set to earn $700M through streaming deal in China

Wade Phillips is the best coordinator hire this offseason

Bill Belichick gives understated scouting report of Tom Brady

President Obama zings Patriots over Deflate-gate

Each major conference's Player Of The Year candidates

Super Bowl XLIX preview and predictions: Patriots-Seahawks

Most unexpected MLB free agent signings of past 10 years

Five most villainous Super Bowls of all time

Super Bowl ad focuses on acceptance of gay athletes

Foster says UT boosters paid him $40-50K while in college

Ranking the repeat Super Bowl champions

Eric Decker to Sherman: Time your conception a little better

Could Katy Perry and Russell Wilson be dating?

The Media isn't the villain we deserve, but it's the one we need

Are LeBron and the Cavs ready to make a run?

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Obama zings Pats over Deflate-gate

Each major conference's POY candidates

Super Bowl XLIX preview and predictions: Patriots vs. Seahawks

The 13 things we want to see in Super Bowl XLIX

Tiger Woods, misses cut: ‘I’m only doing this so I won’t get fined’

Ranking the repeat SB champions

Roger Goodell grilled on Deflategate

Katy Perry, Russell Wilson dating?

Rex Ryan has advice for Seahawks

Super Bowl: Things you can't control

LeBron and the Cavs are ready to make a run

Cousins calls out writer's old tweet

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.