A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Roberto Luongo loses

The Roberto Luongo battle is over. The arbitrators came back with a ruling of $3.2M for one year.
The first ever case of a player being summoned to arbitration by his team worked in favor of the team. Maybe this will set an example for other teams in the future. Don't let the pouting players hold you hostage. Take them to arbitration.
Of course I say this now, but if this option was available 5 years ago, the Hurricanes might have taken Keith Primeau to arbitration, and we might have never orchestrated the Brind'Amour trade. We're much happier with Hot Rod, so we're glad it wasn't available. However, I think the trade would have come anyway. We weren't enjoying Keith's company very much, and we weren't about to bend over for him. Just prior to the trade, Peter Karmanos had this to say about the Primeau ordeal:
"We refuse to pay a prima donna, a petulant, pouting player who had 30 goals last year the same money as Toronto is paying Mats Sundin or Pittsburgh is paying Jaromir Jagr."

Anyway, this is what you get, Roberto Luongo, for playing hardball. The Panthers had offered a five year deal for $25M, which he refused. For a long term contract, he said, the pay would have to be better. He was eyeballing unrestricted free agency two years down the road and wanted a shorter contract. He felt that he would be worth at least $4M in a shorter contract, but the arbitrators didn't see it that way. Just who does he think he is? $25M over five years wasn't enough??

What next? Luongo clearly doesn't want to be a Panther, or he would have accepted the 5 year deal. Will they trade him so they don't have to put up with his pouting all season? Their backup goalie, Jamie McLennan, leaves a lot to be desired, so if they make a trade, it had better be a really good one.

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