British Columbia

Luongo's appeal may bounce back with no-trade news

Sales of Roberto Luongo jerseys have been stale this season, with a possible trade looming on the horizon. Now that the deadline has passed, the veteran goaltender's popularity with Vancouver Canucks fans could bounce back.

'Luongo' jerseys have been hard to find partly because sellers hedged their bets on a trade

Some fans are upset the NHL goalie was not traded, others are happy 1:57

When Roberto Luongo left practice today, some thought it would be the last time he did so as a Vancouver Canucks player.

Speculation about a possible trade spiked on social media and Luongo's possible trade was the number one subject on Twitter in the Vancouver-area for hours.

But as the deadline came and went with no trade announced, news that the veteran goaltender would stay with the Canucks upset some hockey fans — those who say he's never been a team player.

Clay Imoo, a regular contributor to the Canucks Hockey blog, says the fact the Canucks have another great goaltender doesn't help Luongo-appreciation.

"It's the fact that his play has been relatively inconsistent at times, especially in playoff time and it's also the play of 'the other guy,'" he said.

"You know, it would be different if we didn't have a really good goaltender waiting in the wings basically ready to take over but because Cory Scheider is so good and so strong it's very easy to forget about Luongo and his accomplishments," Imoo said.

But Imoo has so much faith in his favourite goalie that he took his Luongo jersey to Rome and the Vatican, and feels good about the Canucks chances in the playoffs.

"It gives us comfort that we have two really good goalies," Imoo said.

Sales of Luongo jerseys went stale with speculation that the Vancouver Canucks goaltender might be traded. (CBC)

Although diehard Luongo fans may be happy he's staying, they'll find it hard to buy his jersey in many stores this week.

John Czvelka, of Vancity Sports, says he doesn't even have any to sell.

"The goalies jerseys were only Schneider's that has been selling. We don't even have any Luongo jersey's in stock," he said.

Czvelka says it was a business decision. Why stock jerseys if the man may have been traded?

"We've even had customers coming in, they brought their Luongo jerseys in, and put in a new name bar over the 'Luongo.'" he said.

It's a similar story at Granville Sports Corner, where Mike Jackson says sales of Luongo jerseys this season were cut in half.

"They would rather stick to a current player and not chance a player jersey or T-shirt with a good possibility of him moving on to a another team," Jackson said.

With files from the CBC's Teresa Lalonde

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