Sunday, November 23, 2008

Roberto Luongo Injured: Future of the Canucks

Seems like we need to wait another day to find out the diagnostic and extent of Luongo's injury.
Now lets look at the consequences if Luongo is done for an extended period of time.

One of, if not the most important player to a team in the league - Luongo the captain, the leader of the Canucks is the key to the successful 13-6-2 record. Without Luongo, the future of the team looks bleak.
- No Playoffs. No Money: Although the Canucks are sitting comfortably in a playoff position right now, we are only 1/4 through the season and a downward fall in the standings can happen with a bad month in the super tight Western Conference. By making the playoffs a team is guaranteed AT LEAST two games at home. With revenue coming in from attendance and television deals, by missing the playoffs, the team is losing out on millions of dollars. No Luongo, no playoffs.

- Say goodbye to Sundin: A Canucks team without Luongo is exactly like the Dallas Cowboys without Tony Romo - the team is not going anywhere. With the Sundin talks heating up, money, success of the team, and chance of winning is the key to Sundin's considerations when choosing a team. Everyone knows the Canucks aren't going anywhere without Luongo so why would Sundin come to a team that has no chance.

- Time to Rebuild? : Looking at the situation in the most pessimistic angle possible, is the Luongo injury going to force the Canucks to rebuild? If the team starts going in the tank and fall far down in the standings, the Canucks might have to be sellers when the trading deadline comes. With upcoming free agents - Sedins and Ohlund, the team might dump these players for some young players or draft picks - the Canucks rebuilding process begins.

I know its not easy to find a silver lining when the franchise player goes down, but lets see if we can find any positives in this situation.

- Cory Schneider: The Canucks have already called up Cory Schneider from the Manitoba Moose to back up Curtis Sanford in case Luongo is unable to play. Schenider the future goalie of the Canucks (or at least a trade bait) can finally have some NHL playing time with Luongo injured. He is posting an impressive 10-1 record and 1.37 GAA in the AHL, and it seems like he is ready for some NHL action. Tony Romo, Tom Brady, and Cam Ward were all beneficiaries of stepping in and showcasing their skills when the no.1 (QB or Goalie) went down or struggled. Maybe this is Cory Schneider's time.

- Tavares or Hedman: Two great picks in the 2009 draft in Tavares and Hedman. If the season really goes sour for the Canucks, maybe there is a chance of picking up Tavares or Hedman in the upcoming entry draft. These two are considered future franchise players and if the Canucks are lucky enough to grab one of the two, losing Luongo this season and finish at the bottom of the league will not hurt as much.

Now we just have to wait and see on Monday what is going to happen with the Canucks future. I have already discussed the Stars troubles losing Morrow, losing Luongo will devastate the Canucks franchise - maybe I'll be wrong with the Canucks continuing to push for a playoff spot - or maybe Luongo is not hurt at all. We Shall See.