Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 07/26/13 at 12:39 AM ET
Given a) the Evening Line, b) the fact that we're kind of sitting on the, "Report: Joel Quenneville to receive contract extension Friday" story because it hasn't happened yet and c) there's actually a significant amount of other stuff going on, I really don't want to post yet another Roberto Luongo-gate article...
But Luongo's former agent, Gilles Lupien, spoke with the Globe and Mail's Roy MacGregor on Thursday night, stating that his cilent left for CAA Sports' Pat Brisson and J.P. Barry in no small part because Lupien is still abso-frickin-loutley FURIOUS about what's transpired between the Canucks, the media and a certain goaltender who was supposed to be shipped out of town like yesterday's leftovers, but is suddenly the go-to guy all over again:
“I played on a team [Montreal] with nine Hockey Hall of Famers,” he says. “I’ve never seen a star treated like that. I think personally he’s been treated like a piece of paper, a fourth-line player.”
Lupien believes that in being so public for so long about the possibilities of a trade, the team undermined its own player. The media turned on Luongo, the fans turned on him, and there was no escape. He was like “a cornered rat,” Lupien says.
“I’m in net,” Lupien says of the goaltender he considers almost a son. “There’s a guy at the red line with the puck and the fans start to boo me. The people aren’t behind you. The newspapers aren’t behind you. But you have to stop the puck.
“It’s not like a forward who can pass the puck when people start to boo. It’s not like a fourth liner who only gets out every once in a while. You have to stop every puck or else.” It’s almost impossible for him to perform under those circumstances.”
Lupien says it could have been handled differently. A decade ago in Montreal, he says, then GM Bob Gainey called out those who were ripping Canadiens defenceman Patrice Brisebois, calling them “gutless bastards” and saying “We don’t need those people – we don’t want those people.”
“In Vancouver,” Lupien says, “they didn’t say a word.”
The fired agent says he understands the business, both from Gillis’s point of view and from Luongo’s, but he feels strongly that there was never any need for such drawn-out drama and angst over the possibility of a trade.
“It’s okay to say you’re going to trade someone,” he says, “ but then trade him. If I want to sell my car, and I want to get a good price for it, I don’t say my car is always in the garage. There’s something wrong with it. No one will want to buy it. You either say your car is the best car you ever had – or you say nothing.”
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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