The irony, then, is that the Canucks will have to trade Luongo in order to build a team that would be good enough to win with Luongo.
Think about it for a minute. It’s now apparent the Canucks have more holes in their lineup than Luongo can fill. Their defence was exposed against the Blackhawks as too slow and too conservative. They need scoring. They could also use more size. And speed.
Trading Luongo would not only bring in some prized assets for the organization, it could free up the capital to make a run at a Jay Bouwmeester and make it easier to sign the Sedins.
Granted, this means turning the goaltending over to young Cory Schneider and a veteran of some description, and that means you won’t get what Luongo gives you on a night-in, night-out basis.
Then again, if the rest of your team is good enough, you won’t need lights-out goaltending every night.
This also seems to be the model in the new NHL. The game is so fast and the players are so skilled, it’s virtually impossible to win with a shutdown game and a great goalie.
The Blackhawks just proved that, and Detroit, Pittsburgh, Washington and Carolina play a similar style.
Boston and Anaheim are closer to the dead-puck-era game, but the Ducks also feature two Hall-of-Famers on their blueline and the Bruins led the East in goals scored.
The Canucks, for their part, have to raise their game to the level of the NHL’s very best teams. The quickest way to do that is to trade Luongo, which may sound crazy.
But, to paraphrase that noted hockey man Albert Einstein, it isn’t any crazier than doing the same thing over and over and expecting the results to change.