Vancouver Canucks Rumors: Roberto Luongo Likely Starter for Team Canada in 2014 Winter Olympics, NHL Future Uncertain as Goalie Considers Hold Out

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Jul 22, 2013 04:38 PM EDT
Roberto Luongo
Canadian goalie Roberto Luongo shows off his gold medal won for defeating the U.S. in hockey at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, February 28, 2010. (Photo : Reuters) "

Roberto Luongo has been silent. The longer the goaltender keeps quiet, the more the Vancouver Canucks have to worry about. After trading away Cory Schneider in favor of bringing Luongo back as the starting goaltender, things have been far to silent. Luongo has spoken to the media once since the NHL Draft day trade, simply saying he was shocked by the move and had mentally moved on from Vancouver. Now reportedly considering his options on his future, Luongo has received a bid to attend Team Canada's Olympic camp.

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Luongo helped Team Canada make history back in 2010 when he replaced Martin Brodeur and helped land his country the Olympic gold medal over Team USA. However, Vancouver fans will remember just how much he has struggled coming back from the heroic performance. The following season he recorded a 3.21 goals-against average and a disappointing .895 save percentage.

Luongo will compete against Carey Price, Mike Smith, Corey Crawford, Braden Holtby and possibly James Reimer for a roster spot. TSN reports that Luongo is the likely option as starter for Team Canada assuming that he returns to the Vancouver Canucks.

"Going into this season you that he's going to be the starter for the Vancouver Canucks," Jamie McLennan said. "He's going to be in mid-season form come the Olympics. Let's not forget: He won last time, so he has the experience and the confidence to know what it takes to help Team Canada win."

The idea of Luongo being a starter is dependent on whether or not he actually returns to Vancouver. There has been a lot of speculation that Luongo might decide to not report to training camp and not play out the season as a Canuck. The goaltender still has nine years remaining on his current contract with the team and Vancouver would be put in a very tight spot if he opts to not return.

Luongo's options are extremely limited. He is essentially not tradable. Hi contract is too inflated for another team to take on. Both Mike Gillis and head coach John Tortorella have remained optimistic about the veteran's ability to return to the team and remain professional, but only time will tell if that is true. If Luongo does not return to Vancouver, he can kiss the Olympics goodbye.  

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