First article...be gentle please...

What can be said about Roberto Luongo's time in Vancouver? Well for starters he is likely one of the most under-appreciated star players to have the honour or donning one of the various crests in Canucks history. Fans of this team seem to forget just how dominant Roberto can and has been during his tenure here. Does he have his faults? Absolutely. Has he had Dan Cloutier-esk playoff performances? Well documented ones. However, what seems to get lost in all the anger is the fact that if the Canucks had won the cup, Roberto would have hands down been the recipient of the Conn Smythe. He was dominant in the San Jose series; played out of his mind against Chicago (that's a first am I right?), not to mention his ridiculous regular season stats throughout his time here--which would be all the more impressive if the guy could start in October instead of November...

He has been the Goat for this team for so long its astonishing. It will be interesting to see how guys like Kesler, the Sedins and Schneider divide up the wrath of Vancouver media. He has deserved his criticisms just like every other player in league. However, Roberto has also had to endure constant exposure, questioning and doubt even after games he outright stole for us. The relationship between the fans and Roberto is toxic, and should have been dealt with before now. As hard as it to comprehend the trading of the franchises most prized goaltender in history (Thank you Nonis)...it is beyond a shadow of a doubt the best thing for all parties.

Anyone having dreams of trade occurring between Toronto and Vancouver can wake up anytime. Burke and Gillis will only come to terms on a deal if both men believe they have successfully fleeced the other. There is too much history and animosity between them (dating back to Gillis' role in Bures departure) to complete a deal considered equal. That being said, old faithful Florida looks to be heating up as a possibility. With news tonight speculating about Tallon putting an offer together which would include the likes of former 3rd Overall draft pick, defenseman Erik Gudbranson, one has to think that Luongo will be in South Beach in no time. While I am skeptical about the potential of Florida repeating history (sorry to reference the Bure Trade twice in one article...) and trading a budding superstar defenseman, I do think a deal is imminent. A deal that I could see occurring would involve players such as (not all together clearly) Kris Versteeg, Keaton Ellerby, Quinton Howden, Dmitry Kulikov, Colby Robak, or a guy like Bergenheim. 

It'll be a sad but exciting day when Roberto is finally shipped off, however it will mark the changing of the guard and thus open a new chapter in Canucks history. Hopefully this next chapter is one with a few more meaningful banners in the rafters (...and no I'm not talking about Bure's #10). 

Side Note: If Gillis does pull the trigger on a deal bringing in Erik Gudbranson, and as speculated manages to sign Justin Schultz...our defensive core will get incredibly younger, cheaper, and with a ton of promise. Someone has to stop the Oilers in 2 years...