Originally written August 29, 2013 on NorthWest Sports Beat:
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Suggestions for Lu The latest act in the Roberto Luongo dramedy went down last week when everyone’s favourite backup goalie chatted with TSN’s James Duthie about his future. Luongo made it clear he’s not thrilled to be back in Vancouver, and he was so mopey it looked like he was stuck in an episode of One Tree Hill. He’s got to face facts — he’s stuck with the Vancouver Canucks and it’s time to make the best of the situation for now. Here are my five tips to help the man through the 2013-14 hockey season. 1) Forget about the contract We all know the contract “sucks.” We all know it’s one of the worst deals in the history of professional sports, but you signed it. There’s no need to bring it up and continue to reference how bad it is. And in this economy, I don’t see many people having sympathy for an athlete signed to a deal making millions for such a long time. Focus on your play, not the pay. 2) Work on shootouts Roberto Luongo may sound unhappy, but there’s still hope for 2014. Now, I’m not placing the entire blame on Luongo. The entire team needs to work on this, but he’s been atrocious over the years. It’s an aspect of the game that Alain Vigneault just didn’t seem to work on and let’s hope John Tortorella does. But the book on Luongo is pretty well-known: Make him move side to side and shoot it over his left shoulder. Shootout points will be a huge difference maker for the Canucks this year because they’re not in the weak Northwest Division anymore. They could be the difference between making and missing the playoffs. 3) Lower time on Twitter The Strombone1 account was cute and funny — when he was a backup. The account was a clever way for Luongo to gain a little sympathy and re-build his dwindling fanbase. But the whole act is stale and tired. He’s been the highest paid comedian on Twitter for far too long, and it’s time to lower his presence on social media. The self-deprecating humour is funny to an extent, but sometimes there’s a lot of truth in what he tweets. Keep the account for the offseason, but during the season we shouldn’t be seeing a whole lot from that account. 4) Get rid of the NTC If Luongo seriously has no desire to be here then he, along with his brand new agent, should take his NTC off the block. Luongo’s insistence that he wanted to play in Florida, along with the overrating of Luongo’s value by Mike Gillis are the two main reasons he’s still a Canuck. It’s an awful contract, but not totally un-tradeable. If the Glen Sather can trade Scott Gomez then anything is possible. Trash the NTC and be open to moving to Columbus, the Islanders… wherever. Or just shut up and do your job with the Canucks. 5) Work on side to side movement As I mentioned earlier, get Luongo moving side to side and he will bite on the deke, flop and be lying on his belly. It’s happened countless times, and it’s something he could and should be working on. Maybe he should drop a little weight, look into yoga (he’d fit in well in those classes) and work on his flexibility. He’s 34 now, not 24, so it’s going to take a little more work to stay at the top of his game. So Roberto, just follow these easy tips and I guarantee you will post more wins this year than last year. And if not, don’t worry – you’re only under contract until 2022. CLICK HERE CHECK OUT THE CANUCKS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE SECTION AT NWSB!
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