Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo said he did not continue to request a trade away from the team when he met with general manager Mike Gillis this summer.
“Not in July, no,” Luongo told TSN in an interview released Saturday. “Obviously at that point, there was not many ways to go about it, and we just had a chat about the future of the team, and myself, and all that kind of stuff, and we’ll see where that goes.”
Luongo was visited in Florida by Gillis after the June 30 trade that sent Cory Schneider to the New Jersey Devils and reinstated Luongo as Vancouver’s No. 1 goalie.
Luongo had been on the market for more than a year and thought the team would part with him, not Schneider. In the first portion of the interview with James Duthie, shown Friday on “SportsCentre,” Luongo said he explored having his contract with the Canucks voided and walking away from about $40 million remaining on it.
Saturday, he told Duthie he has no bitterness toward Gillis or owner Francesco Aquilini.
“Not at all,” Luongo said. “I think … they’re doing their jobs, and I’m doing mine. I mean that’s the business. And I’ve got nothing personal against Mike or Mr. Auqilini.
“Like Mike said, when he came down here to visit me in July, we had a meeting and we talked, and we were professional about it. We did laugh, and [were] courteous. That’s the way I like to conduct business. I don’t see it any other way than that.”
Luongo said he felt more fortunate than Schneider, who finds himself in a new platoon with Devils goalie Martin Brodeur.
“In a way I’m kind of lucky because I get to start and play, which is all you can ask for at this point,” Luongo said. “With Marty there, obviously [Cory’s] probably going to have to share the net, which kind of [stinks] for a guy like [Schneider] who’s ready to be a superstar in this League.”
Luongo said expressing humor on Twitter as @Strombone1 helped him deal with the speculation and ultimate result.
“It has been a tough year emotionally, but at the same time there’s a lot of things in life that are far worse than that, and that’s the way I kind of deal with my situations; I try to make light of it, make fun of it,” the 34-year-old said. “It helps me handle it better.”
He also said on TSN.ca that Canucks fans should not worry about his mindset heading into this season.
“My heart’s always in it. Whatever I’m doing, I’m a competitor, I like to win, and I really hate to lose more than I like to win, probably,” Luongo said. “… That’s the way I am, and that’s the way I was built.
“So was this an ideal situation for me two months ago? No, obviously not, that’s not what I wanted. But at the same time, when I’m on the ice, I’m 100 percent committed to winning and I’ve got 20 guys in the locker room that I respect enormously, that it wouldn’t be fair to them to not be in it 100 percent.”
Luongo said he is hopeful he will be the goaltender for Canada at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. He won the gold-medal game at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and was invited to orientation camp, which begins Aug. 25 in Calgary.
“That’s one of my main goals for this year,” Luongo said of being Canada’s starter. “Remember four years ago, what a great moment that was in all of Canada. So if I get a chance, I’d love the opportunity again to represent my country, no doubt.”
This article was originally posted on NHL.com
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