Canucks and Beyond

Luongo's Future Waterboy: Sanford or Auld?

06/09/2008 at 9:44pm EDT

I noticed this Canucks’ rumor buried at the back of an unrelated article in the Boston Globe a couple days ago. I saved it in hopes of finding out more but that effort went exactly nowhere. So here it is, from Bruins reporter Fluto Shinzawa:

According to a Vancouver source, the Canucks would prefer to trim goalie Roberto Luongo’s workload in 2008-09. Over 73 appearances last season, Luongo played a total of 4,232:32, sixth-most among NHL goalies. With backup Curtis Sanford heading to the open market, one candidate to become Luongo’s No. 2 man is Boston’s Alex Auld. In 2005-06, Auld played in 67 games for the Canucks, posting a 2.94 goals-against average and a .902 save percentage. Ex-GM Dave Nonis shipped Auld out to Florida in a package for Luongo…

Canucks fans should have good memories of Alex Auld in Vancouver the first time around, but I can’t imagine they’ve got many complaints about Curtis Sanford this past season, either. (He may not have set the league on fire with his 2007-08 stats, but when you start about one game a month behind a team whose entire defensive corps is rotating through the emergency ward all season, you can probably be forgiven.)

The bigger issue might be to wonder which of them would want to backup Luongo.

Regardless of rumors like the one above, Luongo will probably be playing at least the same number of games next season. It’s what he’s done for years. And warming the bench for 70+ games a year probably isn’t high on any goalie’s list for “career goals.”

Jeff Paterson wrote in the Georgia Straight the other day that the Vancouver Canucks basically have about 30 days to figure out all the answers, and proposed that Curtis Sanford is one of the questions.

Shinzawa writes that Sanford is “headed to the open market,” but Sanford hasn’t suggested that he wouldn’t re-sign with Vancouver. In fact, he’s on record as saying that he is open to taking the job again.

So, given that both Auld and Sanford commanded the same salary last season ($600K) and assuming their dollar value were to remain equal, which back-up would you prefer?

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