Reflecting upon his many years of service within the Panthers organization, His Majesty Roberto Luongo reveals in a quickie interview (on the Canucks official site, no less) that expectations for the club securing a playoff appearance (by fans? Media? The patrons of his father-in-law's pizza joint?) were non-existent during his time here:
- "Obviously I missed the playoffs with the Panthers, but it’s different when you’re expected to be in the playoffs and don’t make it than when I was in Florida and there really were no expectations" .
Now, there are several ways in which to interperet his remarks.
- He is making a factual statement ("Obviously I missed the playoffs") interspersed with a widely-held local opinion ("there really were no expectations"). No harm done.
- He is criticizing the management of the club itself for not instilling a winning culture during his tenure ("there really were no expectations"). Tough but insightful from a dressing-room point of view; not surprising to anyone close to the situation.
- He is bitch-slapping the Florida Panthers and their - few but hardcore - fans in no uncertain terms ("there really were no expectations").
I'm not one to jump on the Bash King Louie Bandwagon. Indeed, his departure from the club - and the year leading up to it, including Iron Mike taking him to arbitration, a league first - was a tough time for everyone involved...fans included. Did he truly submit his infamous eleventh-hour "wishlist" to management just before the '06 draft, as Keenan claimed? Perhaps. Neither camp has denied it. I don't know the depths to which this sordid affair dove.
What's done is done, and I for one am very happy we're covered in net with number 29.
It's nice that players and the mad fans who follow them in Vancouver have high expectations for their defensive-minded, low-scoring, go-nowhere hockey team. Come to think of it, that description sounds a lot like the situation in Sunrise since the early portion of this decade. Has anything really changed for King Louie?