Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

In this edition of the Vancouver Canucks News & Rumors, Roberto Luongo speaks on his time with the organization. Also, Pius Suter returns to the lineup. Additionally, President of Hockey Operations Jim Rutherford comments on Vasily Podkolzin.

Luongo Reflects on Time with Canucks

The Canucks inducted Luongo into their Ring of Honour on Dec. 14 against the Florida Panthers. The former starting goaltender reflected on his time with the club. He was a member of the organization from the 2006-07 season until he returned to Florida in 2014.

The 2022 Hockey Hall of Fame inductees Bill Carnegie (son of Herb Carnegie) Daniel Sedin, Roberto Luongo, Henrik Sedin, and Daniel Alfredsson (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

“It was the most important stretch of my career,” he said. “It was when I was in my prime. We had a great team, we were in the playoffs, we made a run to the cup. I played in the Olympics in this city.”

Luongo played 448 games with the team, posting a 252-137-50 record, with a .919 save percentage (SV%) and a 2.36 goals-against average (GAA). He also had 38 shutouts. He is first in wins and shutouts, while he ranks second in games started, SV% and GAA.

His time with the organization had its ups and downs. The highest of highs came when the club reached the Stanley Cup Final in 2011, and the lowest moment came near the end of his tenure. Luongo and former general manager Mike Gillis agreed the veteran goalie should move on as Cory Schneider had emerged as a starting goaltender. After the 2013 trade deadline, Luongo remained with the club and told the media his contract sucked. He signed a 12-year, $64 million contract in 2009. However, on Thursday, he said his contract did not suck and gave a backstory to the comments.

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“Fifteen minutes before I came out, found out I wasn’t getting traded to Toronto,” he said. “I was a little bit emotional at the time and didn’t have time to regroup.

“Obviously, the contract didn’t suck, but for certain reasons it did. I remember being so emotional in that very moment because of what had transpired 15 minutes prior and I wish I would’ve had a few more minutes to gather myself before I went out there.”

Related: Canucks’ 5 Early Christmas Gifts For 2023-24 Season

Instead of trading Luongo, the Canucks ended up trading Schneider to the New Jersey Devils at the 2013 NHL Draft. Luongo started 42 games before the club traded him back to the Panthers. Luongo said he is glad he is getting recognized, and the city holds a special place for him.

Suter Returns

Suter returned to the lineup on Dec. 14 against the Panthers. The forward missed a month of action due to a lower-body injury. He centred the fourth line alongside Andrei Kuzmenko and Phil Di Giuseppe. He played 15:01 in the club’s 4-0 win.

Pius Suter, Vancouver Canucks (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The Canucks signed Suter to a two-year, $3.2 million contract in the offseason. The forward spent the first 19 games of the season on the third line. He has four goals on the season, all coming in his last six games before his injury.

Kuzmenko could benefit the most from playing with Suter for the time being. He is coming out of his slump, scoring twice in the last two games, but playing with another offensive-minded centreman could provide him with more success at five-on-five.

Rutherford on Podkolzin

Rutherford commented on Podkolzin and the Canucks plan for the 2019 first-round pick. He said the organization will not rush him back to the NHL, similar to how they treated Nils Hoglander last season. Hoglander played 25 games with the Canucks on the main roster last before the club sent him to Abbotsford. He posted 14 goals and 32 points in 45 games. He returned to the main roster this season and is a part of the team’s top six, scoring nine goals and posting 14 points through 28 games.

Rutherford added that Podkolzin missed some time due to an injury, but he worked hard when he went to Abbotsford and played well. Additionally, he said the Canucks aren’t ruling out the possibility of recalling the Russian forward, but the club will remain patient.

The Canucks draft Podkolzin with the 10th overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. He didn’t join Vancouver until the 2021-22 season when he scored 14 goals and posted 26 points in 79 games. Last season, he played 39 games with the club, scoring four goals and posting seven points. However, he spent time in the American Hockey League, scoring seven goals and posting 18 points in 28 games. He started the 2023-24 season in the AHL and has six goals and 12 points in 15 games.

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The post Canucks News & Rumors: Luongo, Suter & Podkolzin appeared first on WorldNewsEra.


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