Roberto Luongo is in, Curtis Sanford is out
The slow road back to 100% has finally ended for Vancouver Canucks captain Roberto Luongo. The star net minder, who has been out with a groin injury since November 22nd which he suffered in a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, is going to be making his much anticipated return at home on Thursday night when Kyle Turris and the Phoenix Coyotes come to town.
"I have no issues," Luongo declared. "I'm ready to go."
Luongo's return could not come soon enough. On Tuesday night at home versus the New Jersey Devils new arrival Jason LaBarera get pulled after allowing two bush league goals on just six shots. He was replaced by Curtis Sanford who didn't do much better. The final score of 5-3, with a late empty netter scored is more of a reflection on Devils' goaltender Scott Clemmesen's weak play than the Canucks strong play.
With Luongo returning to the lineup the Canucks were faced with a tricky situation, they have three goaltenders on the roster (well two and a half). This means that someone had to go. The unlucky player in this situation is Curtis Sanford.
Sanford was signed in the off-season to a one year $650,000 contract and was expected to hold down the fort in relief of Captain Canuck. Once Luongo went down in November the spotlight fell upon Sanford. He didn't do to badly, but he split time with prospect Cory Schneider. Then things got bad, Sanford suffered a minor groin injury. To solve this issue Vancouver GM Mike Gillis made a trade with the Los Angeles Kings to bring Jason LaBarbera to the team.
The Canucks placed Sanford on waivers today which means that he will either end up on the roster of the Manitoba Moose, the Canucks AHL affiliate, or on that ofany other NHL team. rumors are swirling that Sanford won't be in limbo for too long.
Rumour has it that the Columbus Blue Jackets are interested in Sanford and may pick him up to be a backup for rookie sensation Steve Mason
Luongo is back, Sundin is here, and the defense is getting healthy. This means the Canucks are going to catch San Jose right? I think I've been listening to too much Team 1040 here in Vancouver.