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Tortorella says he's spoken to Luongo and he's ready to play

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TSN.ca Staff
8/22/2013 11:29:39 AM
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With training camp just three weeks away, John Tortorella has kept the lines of communication open with his No. 1 goaltender and knows he's ready to report.

In an interview with The Vancouver Sun on Wednesday, the Vancouver Canucks head coach said he's been in constant contact with Roberto Luongo and added that the veteran netminder just wants to focus on what has to be done on the ice.

"I don't want to get into specifics, but I have talked to Roberto four times," he told the paper. "In fact, I just talked to him yesterday. I'll tell you, from talking with him he has told me he is working very hard as far as conditioning and getting ready for this season.

"He knows there is a lot of talk and probably a lot of questions coming his way with how it all unfolded here. I think he's prepared for that and the bottom line is he told me 'I just want to play.'"

The Canucks raised plenty of eyebrows at the NHL Draft when general manager Mike Gillis dealt away presumed No. 1 goaltender Cory Schneider instead of Luongo.

The deal - done with the New Jersey Devils - netted the Canucks the ninth overall pick (Bo Horvat) and handed the net firmly back over to Luongo for the foreseeable future.

Since the trade was made, Luongo has kept quiet regarding his relationship with the Canucks. He did however, hire Pat Brisson of CAA Sports, who told TSN last month that Luongo would report to training camp.

"I think that is the most important thing, if there is some conflict or you are unhappy about certain things, the bottom line is and he understands it, is that he is playing for his teammates," added Tortorella. "Those are the most important people.

"I have done a lot of talking to people who have coached him and know him and there is just tremendous support for what kind of pro he is. You don't have to be happy about a lot of different things. You can be really happy about this, unhappy about that, as long as you are ready to play. I think he gets that. So I am really excited about where he is mentally."

John Tortorella (Photo: Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)
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