Canucks and Beyond

Luongo's Injury Time Off Guessing Game

11/25/2008 at 6:30pm EST

Last night was a great win for Canucks fans. Perhaps not I-Just-Won-the-Stanley-Cup-and-I’m-Going-To-Disneyland! great, but under the circumstances, pretty sweet.

imageFor one thing, its nice to slow down the Wings-fan trash talk around this website for 5 minutes (*immediate snarky little emails from The Sailor notwithstanding). And for another—and on a more serious note—it calms the reactiveness of both the hockey press and fans who assume Vancouver is weaker than a newborn kitten without Roberto Luongo in the net. (Of course they’re better off with their captain, but as last night proved they’re also a pretty scrappy kitten without him.)

Still, when the Canucks revealed yesterday that Luongo is destined to be off work “week-to-week” the truth is that they didn’t reveal anything at all. What does that really mean?

Luongo’s agent Gilles Lupien’s supposed comments to La Presse yesterday implied Canucks fans should expect 4-5 weeks without his client. He later denied he made that suggestion when speaking to other media outlets, but the quote itself (reported again today on Sportsnet) apparently remains unchallenged. He said:

“You never know, it could be less than five weeks, but I do not think it is three weeks.”

So, fine, he’s right… he didn’t say “4-5 weeks”. He’s saying ‘more than 3, less than 5.’ You do the math.

Regardless, Mark Spector at Sportsnet thinks it’s all very suspicious and remarks on the 4-5 week time-frame that “the way the Canucks are handling this so far makes that time frame seem like a best-case scenario.”

He may be right.

I’ve said repeatedly on this website and in various interviews/podcasts/conversations, that the Vancouver Canucks with Mike Gillis in charge can keep a secret better than any NHL team in Canada. Things just don’t ‘leak’ from Vancouver; information is very carefully controlled. Which is quite an accomplishment in a hockey market like this, I must say.

So whatever the Canucks’ expectations are about their captain’s time off, they’re not telling us. To quote Spector again:

“week-to-week?”

That falls somewhere between, “We don’t really know,” and, “We have a pretty good idea how long he’ll be out, but why on earth would we tell you?”

So keep on guessing.

Update 2:20pm PT:
Suggested by Bitterguy in the comments below, why not make a game out of this? Put your own best guess in the comments as to Luongo’s first game back and the closest guess will win a yet-to-be-determined prize.

I’ll think of something. :)

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