Canucks and Beyond
by Alanah McGinley on 06/21/07 at 03:04 PM ET
QUESTION: It was a year ago this week the club traded Roberto Luongo. Can you assess this trade now and describe exactly what happened? ALAN COHEN: “The bottom line is we tried to sign Roberto for 18 months. The plan I’ve had since day one (as owner) was to sign our kids. I said I wanted guys to stay seven to 10-plus years and build through the draft. I never dreamed we’d trade Roberto. That’s why we tried to sign him for 18 months. He never said there was a problem with the dollars. We just couldn’t get it done. With most everyone else we get the deal done pretty quickly. All he had to do was get out a pen. The contract was there for 18 months. “When it didn’t happen, the staff said (the trade) would make the team better. I really had no choice but to say, ‘Yes.’ As much as I love Roberto - and I have the utmost respect for him - but when the whole staff said trading him would be in the best interest of the Panthers, I said ‘Yes.’ “In any trade, when the main part (Todd Bertuzzi) doesn’t play, it will wind up as a bad trade. Along with that, (Alex) Auld, who was the Canucks’ MVP, didn’t fulfill that potential last year with us. If those two guys step up the way Roberto did for Vancouver, it could have been considered a much better deal. But at the time I had to make a decision and the staff believed this would be the best thing to do. If things were turned around and Roberto was the one that got injured and our players performed like we thought, the trade would have obviously looked different.” Q: Is the trade one of the reasons (former GM) Mike Keenan was dismissed? AC: “I don’t really think so. Sometimes it’s just best to move on. Mike is a great hockey mind, but it was just time to have everyone on the same page. Mike was frustrated as well. The inability to get Roberto signed was the responsibility of many. Had Roberto signed his name on the dotted line, he would still be here. He had 18 months to do that. You can pick up a pen anywhere.”
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About Canucks and Beyond
Alanah McGinley has been blogging hockey since 2003 (with a notable gap in time through 2010, kicking it with new baby Lucy while living knee-deep in chaos while reading "parenting for complete idiots" during every spare minute) sharing opinions, rants and not-so-deep thoughts with anyone who will listen.
In addition to writing Canucks & Beyond and helping manage Kukla's Korner, Alanah was one of the founders and co-hosts of The Crazy Canucks Podcast. She has contributed pieces to FoxSports.com and the New York Times Slapshot blog, as well as other stray destinations in cyberspace.
So that's me. Who the hell are you?
Alanah's Twitter: [@alanah1]