Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 03/04/14 at 08:32 PM ET
from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,
So having the Panthers take Luongo on Tuesday in exchange for what might be a little something or a lot of nothing was at best a mixed blessing.
On the one hand, the albatross of a contract is gone, or all but $800,000 or so a year. The public relations nightmare that Luongo was becoming, through no fault of his own, is gone. And the ever-present doubt about what would become of the Canucks, with Luongo in net again once the playoffs started, is gone.
On the other hand, though, the playoffs might be gone, too, and not just this year.
That is the upshot of one of the most grievously mishandled talent surpluses hockey has ever seen: it is now rebuilding time in Vancouver. The days of contending for championships are in the past, and whether they’ll return in the middle-to-distant future depends on whether this organization has the savvy to assemble the right pieces to forestall a steep decline.
It has not shown anything like that ability since the nucleus players from previous administrations began to tumble down the far side of the hill.
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