Thursday, August 25, 2005


Roberto Luongo Loses Big in Arbitration

Roberto Luongo’s arbitration case was finally decided and he came out a big loser. story:

Sportsnet has learned the Panthers' netminder was awarded a new deal which will see him receive $3.2 million next season.

Earlier this week Luongo turned down a five-year, $25 million offer from the Panthers.

Now, either Luongo really wanted out of Florida, or he expected to hit the jackpot ala Nikolai Khabibulin once he was in Unrestricted Free Agency territory.

As it stands now, poor Roberto has been robbed the past couple of seasons. First, he sees the Vezina Trophy get awarded to an inferior goaltender in Martin Brodeur. Then, he gets a spanking in’s strange how an arbitrator can award Luongo a lower-than-deserved salary when past arbitration awards were grossly tilted to the player’s side of things. (If you haven’t figured it out, Luongo, to me, is the best goaltender in the NHL and it’s not even close)

Let’s compare Luongo to two goaltenders that will be paid a lot more this upcoming season: Martin Brodeur and Nikolai Khabibulin.

Roberto Luongo - $ 3,200,000 (26 years old)

2001-02: 58GP 16-33-4 2.77GAA .915 SV%
2002-03: 65GP 20-34-7 2.71GAA .918 SV%
2003-04: 72GP 25-33-14 2.43GAA .931 SV%

Martin Brodeur - $ 5,237,238 (33 years old)

2001-02: 73GP 38-26-9 2.15GAA .906SV%
2002-03: 73GP 41-23-9 2.02GAA .914 SV%
2003-04: 75GP 38-26-11 2.03GAA .917SV%

Nikolai Khabibulin - $ 6,750,000 (32 years old)

2001-02: 70GP 24-32-10 2.36GAA .920SV%
2002-03: 65GP 30-22-11 2.47GAA .911SV%
2003-04: 55GP 28-19-7 2.33GAA .910SV%

How did Luongo get stuck with a salary that doesn’t come to close to these other two fellows?

With Brodeur you get a goalie who can play a lot of games and post good GAA’s and Wins. Of course, we know the wins and GAA are mainly team dependant, so Brodeur can thank Scott Stevens and Scott Niedermayer for helping pad those stats. Brodeur’s SV%’s are rarely near the top of the heap, and he’s definitely not the type of goalie who can do the things Luongo can.

With Khabibulin, you’ve got a goaltender who has been declining somewhat and is likely to decline faster than Brodeur because Nik is a reflexive goaltender compared to Brodeur’s more fundamentally sound style.

As for Roberto, he has suffered behind a poor team throughout his career (Islanders or Panthers) and his Wins and GAA suffer because of that. If the Panthers successfully argued that Luongo wasn’t a winner like Brodeur and Khabibulin, that is the only way I can see the arbitrator taking their side. Looking at the talent level, age, and save percentages, Luongo is the superior goalie RIGHT NOW and should be paid more than either Khabibulin or Martin Brodeur.

So, will Luongo pout and piss and moan and let this affect his play with the Panthers? Will the Panthers try and trade an unhappy camper before training camp? With Mike Keenan running the show, this soap opera is just going to get more interesting.

(PS: Roberto, you are still getting paid millions to play hockey. You aren’t going to starve and you aren’t go to miss your next mortgage payment. Please not to wet your diapers too much over this. Thank you.)

Ouch! What a clout in the head (or other unmentionable parts). Do the arbitrators know anything about hockey? I have been a fan for less than a decade and even I know that you can't apply W/L stats to a goalie unless you consider how many of the games were 1- or 2-goal games. Maybe the arbitrators used to get commissions but they lost them in the new CBA :)

I don't think that Luongo can afford to let this affect his play though. The more he wants to get out of Panther hell (anywhere close to Keenen is hell IMO) he needs to have another great season and command the big $$ next year.
The only thing missing from this post is the classic "waaa waaa waaaaa" game show loser sound effect after the opening paragraph.

And the Sens sign your buddy Mezaros to a contract. (See: Hockey Country)
don't discount the win stat. its as useful as any other stat devoid of explanation and situation.

more importantly it is awarded to only one player, the goalie. check your topps cards! (caveot: it is also awarded to one non player, da head coach)

just win baby :)

marty'S last 5 years playoffs: AVG: 10 wins a year

the wall's last 5 years playoff: averages 8 wins a year (well for the three he played in)




yowza! don't tell me a pair of third round AVERAGING goalies should be making less than a noob! lol

grant fuhr going to the hall for doing just that. none of his other number stack up even to his contemps.

even taking their team based non-win goal stats, and doing something usefull like comparing them to all contemps for each year shows the truth (with a tiny t, there are no TRUTHS in hockey stats)

luongo averages out as 24th best nhl goalie! woot! ( his gaa and save percentage ranking for the last three years are 41st 15th 14th 38th 3rd and 31st)

marty's? 14th! (8th 27th 5th 21st 4th and 17th)

the wall? 23rd whew THAT was close (7th 19th 26th 27th 25th and 30th)

obviously marty isnt the 14th best, that is his average finish and no one averages a 1, he is likely in the top three once you do some realistic "year by year against his peer's" ranking but i'm not doing all 50 qualifing goalies to find out how many of them are better than luongo.

these two are that are:)
so to answer your burning question:

How did Luongo get stuck with a salary that doesn’t come to close to these other two fellows?

a) he is worse

b) he is a playoff noob


c) they play hockey in flordia somewhere other than tampa bay?!?! since when?!!?
What is this "noob" that you speak of? Is this like the hidden villain in the Mortal Kombat video games? Noob Sabibot?

It must be a Canadian thing.
Luongo gets a million more than Vokoun, which is ok based on the SV%. Nevertheless Vokoun was very important in taking the Preds to the playoffs and Luongo has not been to the big games yet.

It was a gamble on Luongos part turning down that 25 million offer. His regular season numbers could very well go down this season and if the Panthers make the playoffs and Luongo struggles against a top seed team...well he would be hard pressed to ask for 5 mio. If he wins the Cup he´ll be in good shape and can command 7 I said, a gamble by Luongo and his agent.

What did he expect to get...6 million at this point!?

Btw. Khabi and Brodeur a Cup-winners, that counts for a LOT.
Okay, guys, let's put this in perspective. Roberto Luongo is making just over $1 million more than Martin Biron and playing behind an even worse defense than the Sabres was last year. Numbers aren't anywhere close to the entire story Ask any Sabres fan who they'd rather have at ANY PRICE and you'll get one answer... Luongo. Period. The delusional ones will say Ryan Miller, but forget about them.

The arbitrator really screwed the pooch on this one. Mr. Rant, he went in asking for $4 mil or so. Keenan had to have used Biron as a model (makes $2.128 mil similar in age/experience/situation) and that really sucks.

The gamble here is not Luongo's, it's Keenan's. The bedrock of your franchise is righteously pissed off with how this was handled. Remember how Phoenix handled Khabibulin a few years ago? Keenan doesn't have to worry about a holdout, but he should be worried about a loss of focus. As a Sabres fan I know all about our goalie throwing a hissy fit, it never works out for the team.

Luongo has certainly been somewhat petulant and greedy in this situation...but Mike Keenan is showing how different managing and coaching really are.

The way you treat players as a coach (motivation and tactics) is not the same way you treat players when you are their manager. Mike Keenan treats his players the same way under both scenarios, and it's coming back to haunt him in a big way. Luongo has not been happy with the way he has been treated all along...if the Panthers offered Luongo a 5-year deal for decent money earlier in this offseason, Luongo probably wouldn't have been so angry and the two sides might be happy with each other right about now.

Mike Keenan might have won the battle, but he might very well lose the war by making his franchise goalie one angry man.
fyi "noob"= "newbie"= rookie

ok at last some real goalie comparisions!!

biron? avg 25.67

vokoun? 28.17

lalime? 21.9!!!

and danny canuck? 25.67

cool beans all around.

looking at those four salaries, seem to me roberto should be making... oh 2.8ish a year.

even adding the wall and marty (and marty would be OUT OF REACH the jump from 24 to 14 is almost certainly at least two standard deviations.. TWO!!! might be three!!!!!) roberto might be looking at MAYBE 3.5 million at best :)

ok now i'm confused, why should he be making 6 million again?

and something tells me if i re-run these number and include the penultimate stat (WINS) roberto does'nt get any help against the 5 million $ icons he is chasing... or worse the ultimate stat gets added, playoff wins or cup rings and he can't see the pack!

and this is the beuaty of the pick one side arbitration. the arbitrator gets me and jes making opposite points, jes will try to chase marty and roy and the wall obviously, i will chase lalime and point of the vast differences between the wall and marty and some noob like roberto and...

some guy has to decide if LAST SEASON'S roberto is lalime/biron or marty/wall
When I said 6 million, I meant how much Luongo was expecting to get from Florida. 5 mio. pr. year on average over 5 years seems pretty fair to me.

Luongo vs. Biron...yeah, Luongo seems underpaid...or rather, Biron overpaid. Still, Luongo himself turned down that 5 mio. offer, now he is stuck with 3,2.

What should Keenan have offered to sign Luongo? Luongo can´t possibly have turned down the 25 mio. offer because he was pissed off.
Luongo has won squat. It is very easy to play on a crappy team and put up some good number when you face a bazillion shots. It is the guys that make that key save to preserve a 2 to 1 lead that deserve the money.Luongo has a penchant for giving up bad goals and a very bad time which has cost his team some wins which over the course of a season hurt their chance of making the playoffs. When Luongo wins a cup or takes a team on a good playoff run then he can piss and moan about being underpaid. Dan Cloutier has been very good in the regular season, has at least made it to the playoffs, but can't claim a higher salary because he has won sweet nothing in the playoffs. When Luongo can take a team to the playoffs only then has the work begun. I agree with the Arbitrator and Mr Keenan. Next year when Luongo hits the UFA market I think he and his agent might in in for a hellava shock and they will be crawling back to Mr Keenan asking for that 5 Million a year to be put back on the table, after he suffers another shell shocking season out of the playoffs playing in behind those over 30 fossills that Keenan has added for this season
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