Frustrated Vancouver Canucks goaltender, Roberto Luongo, admits that he feels trapped after failing to find a new team before the National Hockey League dealing deadline.
The 34-year-old’s lucrative contract appears to have scared off any potential suitors but he is feeling increasingly isolated as it is now 12 months since he was deposed in goal by Cory Schneider.
Luongo has nine seasons and more than $40million left on his 12-year deal but he appeared destined to sign for the Florida Panthers last summer.
However, that deal fell through and a potential switch to the Toronto Maple Leafs also failed to materialise, much to the chagrin of fans betting on NHL.
It has now been reported that the Maple Leafs rejected Canucks’ trade offers for Luongo three times in the final hour before this month’s deadline.
Luongo admitted after being told that he would be staying in Vancouver: “My contract sucks. That’s what the problem is. Unfortunately, it is a big factor in trading me and it’s probably why I’m still here. I’d scrap it if I could right now.”
Luongo’s situation does not look as though it will improve in the summer as the salary cap is set to fall to $64.3million from $70.2million. That means that the Canucks seem certain to have to continue paying a player who is sitting on the bench.
The contract was negotiated in 2009 and Vancouver insist they did the right thing at the time as all the top teams in the league that were competing for Stanley Cups were handing out similar deals to their leading players.
Luongo added, to NHL betting news pundits: “I don’t think disappointment is the right word. It’s been an emotional ride, the last year. I think it’s more the unknown that has gotten to me more than anything else. I’m human and sometimes it gets to you.”