Last week, Roberto Luongo relieved Gilles Lupien of his duties as his agent and switched to a powerhouse team of Pat Brisson and J.P. Barry.
These two agents are the leading men behind the hockey division for one of the biggest agencies, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), on the planet.
Don’t believe me? Just consider a few of Brisson’s clients – Sidney Crosby, Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Evgeni Malkin, the Sedins, John Tavares, Claude Giroux – to name a few… and now you can add Luongo to that list.
Now let’s consider the following, Lou has signed a contract that runs until the end of the known world (ok until 2022) for which Lupien negotiated and will collect payment for.
As far as I’m aware, Barry and Brisson are giving free representation as part of a one-time only offer, even if your name is Roberto Luongo.
So why the switch?
Could this be writing on the wall that Luongo doesn’t intend to return to the Vancouver Canucks at all?
Did he enlist the services of CAA to force Mike Gillis’ hand here for either a trade, buyout or mutual termination of contract?
There really doesn’t appear to be any positives for the Canucks in all of this and Lou has yet to address the situation at all.
What happens if he doesn’t report? I can’t imagine Canucks’ management would be willing to go with two Swedish goalies who have never played a collective NHL game in their career as their two netminders to take the reins.
If the case is that Lou doesn’t show up, his cap hit would be gone and another goalie could be signed. I mean, who wouldn’t want to see a team that boast interviews from both John Tortorella and Ilya Bryzgalov?
Sign me up! Although if that happened, the nightmare that would ensue in Vancouver could make me worry for my own well being.
Fly-downs to Luongo’s house in Florida by both Gillis and the Aquilini’s tried to smooth the tenuous relationship over, but how much weight can really be put into Gillis comments?
MG didn’t exactly come out and say “Yeah, our relationship is good again and he’ll be our #1 goalie when he definitely arrives at camp.” No, it was more like “we laughed,” which means… well, I guess we’ll find out.
One thing is for certain, the Vancouver Canucks have to be a little uneasy about these developments.
Then again, maybe Gillis and Luongo were all laughs for a reason and there was simply a falling out between Luongo and Lupien – but I wouldn’t put my non-$64-million contract on it.