Mr. Luongo, take a seat
In the past I have offered advice to Mike Gillis on how to communicate with you. I would like to offer you some advice as well.
Why? Well, let’s say I have some stake in the outcome and stand to benefit if this relationship can be repaired.
I’d like to offer you a few pointers regarding your recent interview with James Duthie of TSN.
Tip #1: When someone in the mainstream media or Canucks press asks you if you’re going to show up to do your job, don’t reply “well, I guess I have to”.
This doesn’t exactly connote the kind of drive and integrity that we as Canadians expect of our athletes. You are an Olympic gold medalist. Act like one. If you feel slighted, your response should be defiance. The best motivator in the world is the doubt of others.
You are regressing back into the sulking version of yourself that nobody could relate to. I thought that guy had grown up.
People root for an underdog, but they love a comeback story.
They roll their eyes at self-pity.
Tip #2: Don’t use double-speak.
It doesn’t help matters when you say “I have a contract, I plan to honor it” and then add that you’ve entertained every conceivable way not to honor your contract with Vancouver. You also threw your teammates under the bus when you stated that you would be willing to play for less money somewhere else if could void your contract.
You realize that by implication you’re saying that you don’t think you have a good opportunity to win here? If you’re willing to play for less money that means you think you would have a much better chance to win a cup elsewhere.
That means either that you doubt your teammates ability to win, or that you doubt your ability to make this situation work.
Tip #3: This isn’t me against the world.
You signed a contract of your own free will. Nobody stands to benefit if you drag your heels. If you play well and hold up your end of the deal, you stand to benefit as much as the Canucks do.
They kept you because you’re a world class goaltender. You were correct to admit that you need to prove that you are still great.
You owe it to the man paying you millions of dollars to play a game for a living. You also need to play well to increase your trade value and get the change of scenery you originally wanted. You need to get over your hurt feelings for your sake as much as for Gillis and Aquilini’s. Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face.
Tip #4: You aren’t the general manager.
You said: “I was just trying to figure out the reasons why a decision like that would be made, especially without consulting me, that’s a pretty big move I thought to make without having an input from the guy you are going to put your trust in.”
Sometimes I don’t think you fully comprehend the implications of what you are saying. That seems odd to me, considering this was a pre-planned interview with your favorite interviewer.
You actually managed to criticize the general manager for assuming that you were mature and had thick skin. You are criticizing Mike Gillis and Francesco Aquilini for doing their jobs, and for assuming that you are the professional that they have repeatedly said that you are.
If you didn’t think it was a safe assumption for those gentlemen to make, perhaps you should have corrected them one of the thousand times that they said “Roberto has been the consummate professional”.
You can’t have your cake, eat it too, and then expect everyone to constantly rave about your amazing eating habits.
I’ve been fairly critical here.
I understand why this isn’t the ideal situation. However, you hold some responsibility for your “sucky” contract, considering you didn’t take a hometown discount like most everyone else on this team.
So suck it up. Play great hockey. Win us a Stanley Cup. Win us a gold medal.
Make a statement of solidarity with LGBTQ people at the Olympic medal ceremony.
Then quietly sign off on whatever trade Mike Gillis gets you, even if it does mean you have to “go Gaborik” and waive your no-trade clause to go to a non-traditional hockey market.
If your attitude is “I don’t care how, just get me out fast”, even multi-millionaire beggars can’t be choosers.