VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Star goalie Roberto Luongo said Friday night in a radio interview that he expects to leave the Vancouver Canucks, and could even end up with the rival Chicago Blackhawks.
Luongo was originally scheduled to be on Vancouver's 99.3 the Fox to talk about the World Series of Poker. However, the discussion shifted to hockey and where he might play next season following the Canucks' decision to sign backup goalie Cory Schneider to a three-year, $12 million deal.
"I think it's really time to move on," Luongo said. "I don't think either one of us ... either I demanded a trade or (Canucks general manager Mike Gillis) suggested a trade. It was a mutual understanding that it was time for Cory to take over."
He was asked about the possibility of going to Chicago.
"That's a good question," Luongo said. "I think there's a lot of cities that are great to play in, and Chicago's definitely one of them. But you have to realize that it works both ways. There's not only me involved in this decision. It's also a question if the Blackhawks would be interested, if the team would be interested in trading me there and if I wanted to go there."
The Canucks acquired Luongo in a trade with the Florida Panthers in 2006. He has 339 career wins in the NHL with 60 shutouts, a 2.52 goals-against average and a .919 saves percentage.
Since arriving in British Columbia, Luongo has led Vancouver to the playoffs five times. The Canucks have also had the league's best regular-season record the past two years.
He has 32 wins in 61 playoff appearances with a 2.53 GAA and a .916 saves percentage.
"I would never say never. You never know," the 33-year-old Luongo said when asked if he'd remain in Vancouver. "But I think we all know what's going on. We've all seen what's developed. At the end of the day, I think it's time to move on. And I'm OK with that. I had a great six years in Vancouver. It's a really wonderful city. I really enjoyed my time there. Unfortunately, I was not able to bring a Stanley Cup there. Probably my biggest regret. But it'll be remembered for six great years."
Luongo was asked how he learned that Schneider was being signed to the lucrative contract.
"Nobody called me, but I think that was to be expected. We've all seen what he's done in Vancouver the last couple of years," Luongo said. "He's a tremendous talent. The main thing that I like about him is that he's a got a great head on his shoulders. He's a player that's going to be able to handle the job and handle the market with that pressure. He's going to be a star in this league, there's no question about that, and he's going to probably win a few Vezinas."