Eight months after Cory Schneider was traded away, goaltender Roberto Luongo finds himself in another awkward situation with the Vancouver Canucks.
Luongo will not get the start when the Canucks host the Ottawa Senators in the Heritage Classic at BC Place Stadium on Sunday.
"I don't want to start going through this whole thing again," said Luongo, who has yet to start for the Canucks since returning from the Olympics. "I've always wanted to play in an outdoor game so I was excited when I saw that we got one this year. I was looking forward to it."
"I believe Roberto Luongo feels this is somewhat of a slap in the face," said TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger. "Almost a year ago, he fought hard to get out of the Canucks organization and hoped for the same in the summer and that didn't materialize. You have to think this is going to amplify the hard feelings that may continue to exist between Luongo and the coaching staff and by extension, the management of the Canucks."
Eddie Lack, who has started both Canucks' games since the Olympic break, has allowed just one goal in a shutout win over the St. Louis Blues and a shootout loss to the Minnesota Wild.
"You also have to look at it from the prespective of head coach John Tortorella," added Dreger. "He doesn't care about the spectacle of the Heritage Classic, he cares about the two points on the line. Eddie Lack has been lights out good for the Canucks in the past couple of games. This is not a popular decision and I predict that this going to add to why this relationship between the player and the organization won't end well."
"VAN obviously went into this eyes wide open and believes upside of Lack starting over Luongo outweighs downside of accompanying controversy," said TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie on Twitter (@TSNBobMcKenzie). "I don't believe for a moment this decision to start Lack is related to any imminent Luongo trade possibility."