More on Roberto Luongo
For one, there's no way any team trading for Luongo is going to do so with the notion that they'll only have him for one season. A pre-negotiated long-term deal will likely accompany any deal simply for the fact that it will give Keenan something he doesn't have at the moment: leverage.The scenario James lays out in the rest of the post is much more soberly thought out than my initial reaction to the idea, which he quotes. Still, it's hard to decide which is worse: throwing $7 million a year and a couple of our best young stars at an overrated, only semi-proven goalie but having him locked up for, say, five years for better or for worse. Or making a similar trade at Luongo's current salary and losing him after a year. Maybe Luongo is exactly what the Wings need. Maybe he'll be a force for this team for the rest of his career. Maybe he'll carry them to three Cups and re-establish their dominance. Or maybe he'll totally bomb after he finds that on a skilled team, the goalie doesn't have to make 57 saves a night and he isn't expected to win every game for them singlehandedly. The list of alternatives isn't overly impressive, as James points out. Luongo is certainly the biggest name out there. But this isn't Dominik Hasek in the summer of 2001 (just to mention the last big goalie trade-to-sign deal the Wings made). Dom had proven he could take a team, any team, to the Finals. Furthermore, he wanted to play in Detroit. All Luongo wants is to get out of Florida and get some team to pay him a ton of money before he's done anything. I don't want to see the Wings stuck with a flop of a goalie that happens to have an enormous salary. I think there's a reason Detroit goalies are always derided by the fans: we generally don't have the best and when we do, they often don't perform up to expectations. Think Curtis Joseph. The only exception I can remember is Dominik Hasek, who was a pretty exceptional goalie, in that first year. Even without the best goalie available, the Wings won two Cups. Their historical strength has not been goaltending, it has been skilled skaters backed by strong goalies (just not the "best"). A bigger-name goalie is not the solution to the playoff problem. In fact, generally, the goalie seems to be one of the best players in most of the early exits I can remember. Their problem has always been lack of scoring and I think it's unfair to pin the blame on the goalies by asserting the solution is a better goalie. As far as I'm concerned, the Wings only need a one- or two-year veteran goalie who will help usher in the goalies they already have in their system. Such a goalie will not come at such a high price and would allow Holland to make other moves that would shore up the offense and defense with more grit and speed, which is what the team desparately needs.